The Owner Of The Patriots Says TV Network Heads Told Him Not To Hire Bill Belichick


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New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft was told not to hire Bill Belichick by television network executives in 2000, he told NESN’s Jeff Howe today.”His first year with us, he went 5-11, and then he went 1-3 [to start 2001], so he was 6-14, and I had people sending me tapes of him doing press conferences, and heads of networks telling me I shouldn’t hire him,” he said.

The cozy relationship between sports leagues and their TV partners (especially ESPN, which both covers the leagues and engages in business with them), is something that always throws sports-media types into a tizzy. We’re guessing this will be no different.

Kraft didn’t say which network heads were trying to influence his hiring decisions, and didn’t reveal the extent to which execs were lobbying him.

But with each story about how TV networks manipulate the game itself, the sport loses credibility and moves closer to pro wrestling.