Skip Bayless’ addition to FOX Sports may spark interest, ratings, and industry buzz, but one FOX Sports employee isn’t on board with the move. NFL Analyst Troy Aikman who has past history with Bayless discussed the issue with Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch, and the Hall of Famer and former Cowboys Quarterback didn’t hold back.
“To say I’m disappointed in the hiring of Skip Bayless would be an enormous understatement,” said Aikman. “Clearly, [Fox Sports president of national networks] Jamie Horowitz and I have a difference of opinion when it comes to building a successful organization. I believe success is achieved by acquiring and developing talented, respected and credible individuals, none of which applies to Skip Bayless.”
Aikman has reason to be upset by the Bayless hire. In a book (Hell Bent) which Bayless wrote about the Dallas Cowboys in the 1990s, he made an unsubstantiated claim that Aikman was gay. Former Dallas Morning News sports editor Dave Smith called it the most unfair thing he had heard in 45 years of journalism.
As a loyal member of the FOX Sports team, it’s understandable why Aikman would be bothered by Bayless’ addition. The NFL analyst will work his fifth Super Bowl for FOX this year, and he has a large number of supporters inside the company who saw Skip’s addition as a slap in the face to one of the network’s best on-air talents. Aikman does however have a number of years left on his contract, an agreement he signed after Bayless was hired, so those in Skip’s camp will point out that Troy could have gone elsewhere if it was that big of an issue.