The New York Daily News' Bob Raissman asks if after years of defending Billy Packer whenever he's put his foot in his mouth, CBS Sports may be fed up with Packer over comments he made during the NCAA National Championship game on April 5.
Raissman reports that CBS executives are still fuming over the fact that, with 7:32 left in the first half and with the Jayhawks ahead 38-12, Packer "called" the game in favor of Kansas.
North Carolina later rallied and pulled within 4 points of the Jayhawks. But the damage was already done: Packer had declared the game to be "over," even though there were still 7 1/2 minutes left to play before halftime.
"CBS is paying $6 billion for the right to air the tourney over the life of its contract with the NCAA. From a business perspective, telling viewers to turn off the TV is not a great idea, especially in a soft advertising market.
Naming a "winner" with plenty of time left in a game does not sit well with corporations paying top dollar to advertise their products during the tournament. Some of these same companies will be asked to purchase time on next year's tourney."
It seems like Billy Packer gets in trouble after every Final Four. Drive and Dish covered last year's edition of the annual Billy Packer post Final Four controversy (and we stuck up for him). Hell, it almost wouldn't feel like April if there weren't another Billy Packer controversy raging through the sports media world. It's sort of become an annual rite of Spring.
As for Packer's comments in this year's Championship game, it's only natural that the CBS executives would be upset. Packer essentially told viewers that it wasn't worth their time to bother watching the rest of the game. And he did so after only 12 1/2 minutes of basketball had been played.
And that's just bad for business. What's more, as a veteran professional broadcaster, Packer should have known that. And as such, he shouldn't have made the statement.
But what he said was essentially true. In fact, just seconds before Billy Packer declared the game to be "over," I had concluded that Kansas had effectively put the game out of reach. When Packer made the statement, I vocalized my agreement with him to those with whom I was viewing the game.
Billy Packer was right. The game was -- for all intents and purposes -- "over," even though there were still 7 1/2 minutes to go before the half.
Billy Packer knew it. Jim Nantz knew it. I knew it. Bill Self knew it. Roy Williams knew it. The players all knew it. And everyone who attended or watched the game on TV knew it.
But Billy Packer shouldn't have said so.