Boston Media -- and especially the Sports Media -- love a good hit piece. It is a Boston tradition. Although out of the spotlight most of the time, BC figures have been subject to more than one over the years. One of the most glaring hits of recent was Bob Ryan's takedown of Al Skinner. At the time it seemed overly harsh and not surprisingly has followed Skinner around as he tried to work his way back into basketball. I don't know Ryan's motivations on the column or his sources, but I would venture to guess BC people fed him much of the fodder. And that is what bothers me.
Obviously Gene is long gone and in fairness to him I read plenty of Globe hits prior to his arrival (one of the more memorable). Maybe it is a Boston thing to protect your sources and attack their enemies. Think of how out of place and inaccurate Sean McDonough's rant on Jags was at the end of the BC-Florida State broadcast. Who knows where he got his info or why he felt the need to protect Spaz (supposedly they are friendly). But none of it is necessary. So far Brad Bates has played things close to the vest and hasn't got drawn into any media ambushes. I hope it stays that way. Because in the long run there is no winning in any of this. It all just reflects poorly on BC and everyone involved. I feel for Al Skinner and hope that he gets a second chance. He was treated poorly. Age more than anything is probably going to keep him from getting another head job, but a smart AD somewhere will hopefully see past that.
Al's replacement is entering a critical point in his tenure. BC and Brad Bates will have to make a decision and stand by it. However, whatever they do, I hope they back it up with clear reasoning and stand in front of the decision. Gossiping behind closed doors to win the spin never looks good and never helps anyone in the long term.