Huge Pat Forde fan. We’ve mentioned it a few times on this site – when it comes to college sports, he’s among the best in the business (Dara Torres probably disagrees with us). But here’s something odd that is worth discussing – Forde recently wrote a book with Louisville basketball coach Rick Pitino. With is considerably different than about. (Back story: Before getting scooped up by ESPN, Forde wrote for the Louisville Courier-Journal.)
The obvious: How can Forde objectively continue to cover college basketball after he ostensibly spent considerable time with one of the biggest coaching names in the game for this book? It will be interesting to see if Forde is prevented from writing about the Cardinals this year (they’ll be good), or opining about them on television.
[Full disclosure: Several months ago, we asked Forde for an interview. He accepted. The interview never wound up happening, we hear, because of a college sports editor at ESPN, David Albright. Mr. Albright has also prevented other ESPN writers, such as Andy Katz, from doing interviews with The Big Lead.]
Another interesting reason to monitor this story: What if it kicks off a trend? Athletes and coaches cozying up to ESPN-types to write books, in an effort (perhaps!) for favorable coverage, or, at the minimum, blanket coverage across ESPN’s many platforms (TV, internet, radio). It definitely wouldn’t hurt in the recruiting game, either.
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