Update: Doyle discussed it on 670 The Score Friday morning, and his spot is a MUST LISTEN.
Gill versus Doyle, CSN vs. BTN round one went down last night.
In one corner, you have Kendall Gill: a former 1989 Flyin’ Illini Final Four team star and #5 pick in the NBA Draft. The 15-year NBA veteran led the NBA in steals in 1997-98 with the New Jersey Nets. Gill also had a short stint as a boxer after his playing career. Today, he does pre and post coverage for the Bulls on Comcast SportsNet Chicago. However, Gill will be suspended from the CSN airwaves for awhile.
And in this corner, you have Tim Doyle, a mediocre former Northwestern basketball player (2004-2007) who still has a prominent place in the NU record book for multiple statistical categories. Doyle both calls games and analyzes them in the studio for Big Ten Network. He also does ‘Cats radio broadcasts for WGN. Also, Doyle ends up quoted in almost every single Chicago Tribune article on Northwestern hoops, for some reason.
Last night, according to Crain’s Danny Ecker
Mr. Gill confronted Mr. Doyle in the newsroom over critical comments he had made on the air about Mr. Gill’s analysis of the controversial final moments of Monday’s Chicago Bulls-Denver Nuggets game. The referees ruled that what at first appeared to be a last-second basket by the Bulls would not be allowed, thus giving the win to the Nuggets.
The altercation happened right in front of me as Mr. Doyle and I were walking through the CSN newsroom on our way out of the building.
Mr. Gill approached Mr. Doyle and called him out for his comments, which escalated to a shoving match and ultimately Mr. Gill throwing a punch at Mr. Doyle. The two bumped up against a sign on the wall and a small amount of blood was drawn (though it was unclear exactly how) before the two were separated.
Not many details are known about the event which occurred after Kendall Gill, Doyle and Ecker appeared as panelists on CSN’s Sports Talk Live, a new talk show that debuted last month. But you have to think with Kendall Gill being a former boxer, and likely in better shape, he was the aggressor.
Of course, I called this on February 24th. When writing about the format change from Chicago Tribune Live to SportsTalk Live I said:
“Just don’t have BTN’s Tim Doyle on; because he has a track record of not saying intelligent things on the air.”
Comcast SportsNet Chicago News Director Kevin Cross released this statement: “We’re looking further into the incident that took place in our newsroom [last evening]. Until the investigation is complete, Kendall Gill will not be appearing on our air.”
UPDATE: the Big Ten will no release a statement on this matter. If Doyle is/was disciplined for this altercation, it was/is handled internally.
Doyle is one of the most polarizing figures in cable sports media. I myself have been especially critical of his work. Look up his name on Twitter today, and you’ll see how the Twitterverse is overwhelmingly in support of Kendall Gill, despite the fact that Doyle seemingly appears to have the moral high ground here. Even if he is apparently despised by his own fanbase
And at first glance Kendall Gill appears to be the one who escalated the dispute. He doesn’t exactly look classy for allegedly taking the dispute from verbal to physical.
The Illini vs Northwestern rivalry is about more than marketing slogans right now
Here’s part one of an exclusive interview with Kendall Gill discussing the Illini
Here’s part two with Kendall Gill discussing the Bulls.
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, a Google News site generating millions of visitors. He’s an author who also contributes regularly to MSN, Fox Sports , Chicago Now, Walter Football.com and Yardbarker