Craig James, one of the most disliked media members in college football, has been hired by FOX Sports Southwest to be a studio analyst. Gosh, I’m glad I don’t get that channel. I’m sorry for you, Erin Hartigan. I’d say the same about Tony Banks, his other studio partner, but Banks once played for Rich Brooks in St. Louis and handed the ball off to Lawrence Phillips.
First, the splashy announcement from Fox:
“We’re excited to add Craig to the FOX Sports Southwest team,” [FOX Sports Southwest Senior Executive Producer Mike] Anastassiou said. “He’s a talented broadcaster who I’ve admired throughout his career. His knowledge of college football and the experience he brings as an analyst will be a tremendous asset to our coverage.”
And now, a quick refresher on James, the one-time gridiron star who shared a college backfield with Eric Dickerson at SMU in the early 80s.
While an announcer at ESPN, his son Adam was a student and football player at Texas A&M. Mike Leach was the coach. Leach disciplined Adam James by putting him in a dark shed one day. Craig James and Leach already had a strained relationship. Craig James allegedly leaked the details to an ESPN reporter, painting Leach in a bad light. Leach was quickly fired. Leach then sued ESPN. It was ugly.
James left ESPN to run for US Senate in 2011. Why he did that remains a mystery, though James did claim he was on a mission from God. James finished in 4th place with just 4 percent of the vote (and later asked for help paying off his debts).
This is what the polling numbers said afterward: “As Craig James has become better known he’s just gotten more and more unpopular. Only 14% of voters see him favorably to 32% with a negative opinion. Even among SMU fans he had literally zero support on this poll- granted there were only 12 of them in the sample.”
He’s all yours, FOX.
Related: Craig James is Grooming the Path For a Television Comeback
Related: Here’s Our First Glimpse of Craig James Running For Senator
Related: No Way To Work Around ESPN’s College Football Conflict of Interest.