Players and coaches getting in reporters’ space doesn’t always end well, but Baylor basketball coach Scott Drew and his players messing up CBS/Turner sideline reporter Dana Jacobson’s hair after their win over USC Sunday was the exact opposite. Without context, that would seem creepy at the least, but this was actually a thoughtful tribute to legendary Turner reporter Craig Sager, who passed away in December after a long battle with leukemia. Drew and the Bears famously messed with Sager’s hair after a win sent them to the Sweet 16 back in 2014, so they chose to do the same thing to Jacobson (holding a #SagerStrong mic) here after advancing to the Sweet 16 again, and to do so in memory of Sager. Here’s the 2014 clip.
(Update, July 2021: this clip has been taken down.)
Here the clip from Sunday night:
Baylor honored Craig Sager with a celebratory hair rub on Dana Jacobson. pic.twitter.com/okvQtfmrRW
— Troy Machir (@TroyMachir) March 20, 2017
That’s clever from Drew and Baylor, and Jacobson handles it well. We don’t want to see this become a trend, but in these circumstances, it made for a nice tribute, and one more example of how Sager is missed but not forgotten during this tournament. (For those who criticized this and tied it into ongoing issues with the Baylor football program, Sager’s daughter Kacy had a good rebuttal on Twitter.) This also felt appropriate considering how much of Sager’s legacy was about bringing fun back into the sports world. Sideline interviews don’t always have to be the most serious, and this was one more example of that.