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Another access issue

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by ECrawford, Oct 29, 2006.

  1. ECrawford

    ECrawford Member

    With Louisville and West Virginia getting ready for a high-profile football game Thursday night, I'm wondering if anyone else has ever encountered a situation like this.

    Louisville coach Bobby Petrino has decided not to let his players speak with media outlets in opponents' cities. (Or, as the Louisville football contact called them, "opposing media.") That meant denying the Kansas City Star an interview with a back-up quarterback with ties to the area when he was thrust into a starting role against Kansas State last month, and it has riled up the West Virginia media as they try to write advance stuff for a pretty big game.

    This all came about after Louisville linebacker Nate Harris caused a stir by saying Miami "is not the same Miami" before they played Louisville last month. Speaking the truth has its price, we all know.

    We published a story on it in Louisville, but stuck it inside. I wrote five paragraphs chiding the coach for the policy in a recent column. But it's my experience that readers and fans don't care much about this stuff.

    Out-of-town outlets can get access to press conference quotes that players give (three players, five or six minutes each), but can't ask questions.

    I'm wondering, just out of curiosity, if it were a team in your market doing this, how would you handle it?

  2. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    Strike a pool deal and get a beat writer for one of the the local papers to ask questions for you.
  3. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Rip Bobby Petrino for being a control freak like Weis on the day of the game and watch the hilarity ensue
  4. henryhenry

    henryhenry Member

    you write: "But it's my experience that readers and fans don't care much about this stuff."

    they would if you make it relevent - underscoring the paranoia of the coach - it's a window into the personality and character of the coach - why shouldn't that interest readers and fans? if you assume readers and fans will be 'bored' by something they probably will be.
  5. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Try this as a gamenote:

    "How tight is Bobby Petrino's sphincter this week?
    If media access is any indication, he should be passign diamonds right about now.
    Ever since some of his players mouthed off before the Miami game, saying Miami "is not the same Miami" he's cut them off from the, as one Lousyville football type said "the opposing media."
    So Petrino, once again worried about the opposing media turning one of his players' saying "we respect them" into "We? Respect them!?" has made sure that none of his players will talk to opposing media before this battle of No.'s 3 and 5.
    By comparison, West Virginia football coach Rich Rodriguez said he plans to pick up every out of town writer flying in for the game from the airport and drive them to their hotel."
  6. Vic Mackey

    Vic Mackey Member

    How about this approach:

    Contact some former college football coaches: guys who are now tv analysts, guys who are retired, guys who just aren't employed. Ask them about changing the way you approach things during the week of the big game. I guarantee someone will tell you it's a horrible idea because it tightens up your players. "They need to approach the game the same way every week," blah, blah, blah.

    Then, write it.

    It's not just you making up an issue, and you don't have to use the "this should be important to you" phrases most fans don't care about. You actually have quotes to back it up, and you can even be fair by saying one or two guys agreed with Petrino (assuming one does).
  7. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    Vic's idea is a good one. Don't forget to ask Petrino if he worried about changing up before he made the decision. Be polite, something like, "So, coach, worried your team thinks you're freaking out about your program's biggest game."
  8. Moland Spring

    Moland Spring Member

    Maybe I'm oversimplifying it, but can't the same thing be accomplished (if I were a WVU medai member) by contacting someone at the C-J and asking that person to be a good person and ask some questions you want answered. I mean, Petrino sounds like a jackass. But it's not like a few negative articles are going to change him. If that was all it took, problems like this would've been solved. So just work with it. It won't be perfect, but do what you can.
  9. Pencil Dick

    Pencil Dick Member

    I believe Petrino spent two, possible three years working for Tom Coughlin in Jacksonville.

    So that explains a lot re: paranoia and distrust.
  10. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    And yet another paranoid, control-freak football coach surprises you....why?
  11. Armchair_QB

    Armchair_QB Well-Known Member

    Wonder if he'll carry this policy with him when he's coaching at Miami next year.
  12. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    He going there as one of Schiano's assistants?
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