WKU Hilltoppers: The Beat Goes On

Fletcher, on the right, along side his cohort Josh Holland at the 2015 CUSA Tournament in Birmingham

Ever wonder what it’s like to see a basketball game from press row? Well, there you have it!

Anyway, that isn’t the point of this discussion. Here’s the point: Earlier this week, former WKU beat reporter Chad Bishop, after announcing his departure from WBKO and the WKU beat all together, unveiled his next step in his career as a beat reporter for Vanderbilt with the 247Sports network.

This led to people asking the question that, frankly, I was surprised people were asking us but it shouldn’t have come as a shock: Who is going to replace Chad for WKU coverage?

Here’s the really awkward part — yes, Chad was very good at what he did for WKU coverage but he wasn’t alone. Brad Stephens at The Bowling Green Daily News is still kicking around and, you know, the site your reading right now has daily (well, almost) coverage as well.

But, I totally get people wanting to know who is going to step into that spot that Chad left at WBKO. And, honestly, it’s bigger than BKO (no offense to BKO) — Chad was around since 2011. He’s a familiar and trusted face. People wanted to know who their next trusted face would be.

Now, before I say what I’m going to say, allow me to preface: I have zero inside information about the goings on at WBKO. But, I think I can address the following with a bit of certainty.

As far as the question of “who will replace Chad at WBKO,” the answer is kind of two-fold:

  1. No one
  2. Expect to see a larger role for WKU from someone like Dominique Yates

Now, why wouldn’t WBKO want to fill Chad’s spot? Well, if you’ll recall when he left BGDN for his most recent job in TV, that was a job, more or less, created for him to be able to continue to write and cover WKU and do so for free.

I’m not saying BKO won’t bring in someone to take over that role, but one of the reasons Chad became their guy was how already established he was in Bowling Green and, unless they can take Brad or even Elliott Pratt away from BGDN, expect that position to stay empty, for the most part.

Also, FWIW, there’s no Sports Insider job opening currently.

Now, part two of this post: What’s next for the WKU beat?

For those looking for the next Chad, I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is you’re most likely already following them! Brad Stephens, Elliott Pratt and, to be frank, The Towel Rack are the best sources for WKU go-to news, analysis and just overall updates.

The bad news is, if you’re hoping for new blood, I’d be shocked if there is new blood injected into the beat as the next Sports Insider (but, again, I could be wrong).

There’s also an elephant in the room with all of this that I quickly realized after we learned Chad was leaving — The Towel Rack is your only free, consistent outlet for WKU coverage. The BGDN is behind a paywall (though you do get a certain amount of articles for free) and even places like WKUInsider on 247 and Inside Hilltopper Sports on Rivals aren’t always active — I can’t find the last 247 story on basketball and IHS is very streaky with their content.

So this is basically a free plug for our site on the site! Sit back, relax, tell a friend or five about us and lets rule this basketball season.

Talking shop about the behind-the-scenes of the business is always a good time. If you ever want to or have any further questions after reading this, the conversation is always open on Twitter.