Collected wisdom: Jay Bilas, ESPN college basketball analyst

Interviewed by Mike Baldwin, mbaldwin@opubco.com Published: November 26, 2011
Advertisement

Conference realignment and all the money being exchanged can be traced back to an NCAA decision to limit the amount of times a team could be on television. They thought it would keep people from attending games, that if you could watch a game on TV you wouldn't go. They still worry about it. But it's a stupid concern because the more you give people the more they want. It's really incredible the amount of content we give people on the Internet, Twitter, Facebook, talk radio and television. It's not saturated. The more we put out there the more people want to consume.

When I got married in 1992, I was an assistant coach at Duke. My wife wasn't interested in being a coach's wife. I wanted her more than I wanted to be a coach. As much enjoyment as coaches get out of the game, it can be hard on a family. Most coaches pick up and move every few years. That's really hard. There's also stress on the family from winning and losing. It's difficult.

I couldn't carry my law practice and be a TV analyst. I chose what got me a better seat at games. It just kind of took off and I made a career out of it. I'm still with my law firm, but I don't practice law anymore.

The first time I saw my wife, Wendy, I was thumbing through a basketball magazine. Like everyone else, I wanted to see what they were saying about me. Her picture was in the magazine. She was a cheerleader at Duke. I thought, ‘She goes to my school, maybe I have a shot.' I started pursuing her. They probably call it stalking now.

My wife is an artist who has her own studio at our home. About 10 years ago, when I came home from a road trip, I walked into the house and there was a painting on the mantel. Being married, I learned to be careful what I said if I saw something new. I asked her where she got it, thinking how much did it cost. She told me she painted it. Through her, I understand art a lot better. My wife is really good. My 17-year-old daughter, Tori, is even better. It's amazing how she can draw in pencil anything you give her.