Skip Bayless addresses L.A. Times' LSU column Photo credit: Undisputed

Even Skip Bayless felt The Los Angeles Times dipped too low in its attempt at portraying Kim Mulkey and LSU as villains.

Last Friday, the L.A. Times published a column by Ben Bolch titled Commentary: UCLA-LSU is America’s sweethearts vs. its basketball villains. And after LSU beat UCLA to advance to the Elite Eight in the NCAA Tournament, Mulkey blasted the column, referring to it as “sexist.” While Mulkey was widely deemed reactionary for battling The Washington Post last week over their “hit piece” that wasn’t, her L.A. Times response was justified by many, including Skip Bayless.

“How can that get through in today’s L.A. Times?” Bayless asked Monday morning on FS1’s Undisputed. “This wasn’t a columnist writing this; this was the beat writer.”

Bayless proceeded to detail how UCLA women’s basketball coach Cori Close is accessible and generous with her time for the media, while Mulkey is more vindictive, which he believed to be the “motivation” behind Bolch’s column. But the column garnered public criticism for calling LSU “dirty debutantes” and “villains” while labeling Mulkey’s program “Louisiana hot sauce” in comparison to UCLA’s “milk and cookies.”

The L.A. Times has since removed much of the controversial language used by Bolch, noting, “The original version of this commentary did not meet Times editorial standards.” Standards that Bayless, a former L.A. Times employee, was “ashamed” of after reading the initial version of the column.

“Here’s Cori Close vs Kim Mulkey, and it’s sort of good vs evil in a journalist’s point of view. Now, ‘dirty debutantes’ gets thrown in, and it becomes the flashpoint of this article,” Bayless continued. “It comes across as racist to me. That is a racist description. And yet, the L.A. Times, after I was ashamed of the L.A. Times, they did have the good sense to go back in and take that phrase [out] and repost it cleaned up. But again, it’s such a flashpoint that it creates the narrative of, ‘Is the world racist against LSU?’”

The L.A. Times may have been attempting to foster a sense of homerism toward UCLA by painting LSU as the “villains” ahead of their Sweet 16 matchup, but they went too far. And after Mulkey spent nearly a week fighting with The Washington Post before their profile of her was even published, the L.A. Times did something no one anticipated by turning LSU and their polarizing head coach into sympathetic figures.


About Brandon Contes

Brandon Contes is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously helped carve the sports vertical for Mediaite and spent more than three years with Barrett Sports Media. Send tips/comments/complaints to