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Coach puts muzzle on players

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by -Scoop-, Nov 19, 2007.

  1. -Scoop-

    -Scoop- Member

    Trying to get ideas on this since I've never gone through it before.

    I cover a Division II basketball team. In a season preview I ran last week, the players were - as expected - optimistic. They predicted an undefeated year; how no team on the schedule looked unbeatable; yada yada. Anyway, they lose the season opener by 24 (though it was an exhibition to a Division I opponent).

    So the Coach tells me at practice the next day the players are off limits. I can't talk to them, they can't talk to me. He says they've shown nothing to complement the hype, and they will be restricted from the media.

    I'm curious as to how others on here have reacted or responded to this. I went to practice today, and even though they split their two weekend games, they;re still on lock.

    Any thoughts? Like I said, I'm new to covering college basketball and I wanted to see what others in my place might think or do.

  2. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    You're covering a small-timer.

    I'd go higher up in the food chain to the AD. One phone call should fix that.
  3. Mayfly

    Mayfly Active Member

    I had the same thing happen to me with a high school soccer team. Oh boy.
  4. Idaho

    Idaho Active Member

    Hey, D-II coach (and AD), if you want to be in the paper, you talk to the paper.
  5. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    Fuck 'em.
  6. -Scoop-

    -Scoop- Member

    Well, to be clear, the coach himself is great as a talker and gives me all the access I need to him. He just won't let players talk because they keep goin on with their outlandish predictions and statements.
  7. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    See if he'll stand over the players while they're talking to you -- just like a high school softball coach.
  8. Maybe ask him if instead of restricting your access, he simply teaches his kids what not to say before their next game?
  9. Hammer Pants

    Hammer Pants Active Member

    I can't think of any D2 AD who wouldn't make that coach let his players speak. Go to the AD ... but tell the coach upfront that you will go to the AD if he doesn't release the gag order.

    You just can't put your whole team off-limits. You just can't. And you can't come onto a beat and let a coach push you around like that at the very beginning.
  10. TwoGloves

    TwoGloves Well-Known Member

    Tell him if he won't let the players talk you'll just make up some quotes and attribute them to him.
  11. awriter

    awriter Active Member

    Definitely go to the AD. Get your sports editor and managing editor involved, too.
  12. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    "Coach, it's all or nothing. If you don't want me to talk to your players, that's fine. We'll just get what we need for your games from the box score. Couple grafs oughta do it..."
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