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Toughest college programs to cover

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by 85bears, Sep 22, 2006.

  1. Hoo

    Hoo Active Member

    That air of friendliness -- which isn't totally as pervasive as you portray it (B. Dyer, B. Johnston) -- also has the effect of sapping the media of much of its cranky criticism. (Except for the off-field problems like Vick II.) Keep your friends close and enemies closer.

    Meanwhile, everyone who covers UVa is so pissed off they are chomping at the bit to take the Cavs down a peg -- and heck, when all you get is Groh's proclamations from on high, it's easy to just spray criticism around, since you can't get explanations or exculpatory insight from anyone else of much use.

    Like, right now, the Cavs offense is truly awful. But the only available person with any real knowledge of why it's so bad is Groh. And he, as you would expect from a head coach, cares less about explaining things to you than about saying what he thinks his players and the public need to hear.

    Certainly, at the moment, UVa is ripe for criticism of the on-field product. But in recent years, the Cavs were barely a half-step behind VT, and yet hardly ever got the benefit of the doubt from their regular media, like the Hokies always do.

    I should point out that UVa has started serving postgame pizza and cookies in the press box and running a golf cart "shuttle" to and from the media lot, which is a few blocks away. Of course, the last thing we need is more calories and less exercise :)
  2. micropolitan guy

    micropolitan guy Well-Known Member

    Every football coach I've ever worked with at the local BCS institute of higher learning has been exceptionally accessible, with open practices, open bowl practices, assistants who aren't kept on a leash, any player you want, and the SIDs (one who had an exceptionally bad reputation, but knew his job and did it well) will get players who try to sulk in the locker room and send them up to the post-game if at all possible.

    They draw the line at giving you cell phone numbers and would really rather not have you call a player at home, but they get the player when you need him 99 percent of the time so you don't need the cell number anyways.

    Maybe it's a lifestyle thing, but from what I've read on this and other threads there seems to be a lot less of a bunker mentality on the West Coast (except for Willingham) than in the ACC, SEC or some schools in the Big Ten.
  3. Hoo

    Hoo Active Member

    I figured only Mrs. Groh knew Al's anal policies.

    I wouldn't be so sure about him getting fired. They owe him a lot of money, and it's not like he's had a string of bad seasons.
  4. Shaggy

    Shaggy Guest

    The problem with Bill Snyder, who was a notorious dickwad to the media, was that he churned out several great assistants who took a related approach when they became head coaches.

    Stoops, Stoops, Leavitt and Mangino are all difficult to work with, from what the spiders in my web tell me. Bob Stoops isn't terrible, but the other 3 certainly are.

    That's a reflection of who trained them. Bill dickwad Snyder.
  5. suburbanite

    suburbanite Active Member

    Agreed. And I think the same is true of basketball, in which some coaches don't realize that positive pub definitely helps the recruiting.
  6. PopeDirkBenedict

    PopeDirkBenedict Active Member

    I wonder if it also rubbed off on Bret Bielema.

    EDIT: I don't know -- that is a legitimate question and not snark.
  7. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Well-Known Member

    Yup ... it's what kept Tommy Bowden in business when everyone else in Clemson wanted him gone.

    IIRC, Groh signed a pretty lucrative long-term extension last year, so he stays no matter how bad it gets in Charlottesville.
  8. Cosmo

    Cosmo Well-Known Member

    Groh gets paid for the length of the contract no matter what. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think UVa is still paying Pete Gillen not to coach, so I can't imagine they would go down the same road with Groh.

    The program I cover got a Groh/Tom Coughlin disciple as its new head coach and I feared the worst. Instead, the guy has been candid and open and surprisingly brutally honest in his postgame evaulations.
  9. rtse11

    rtse11 Well-Known Member

    Covered a game at Penn State recently; was there for the visiting team. Nearly 2 hours after the game, there's no quote sheets, no notes, no hurry on the part of the staff to provide such. Post-game presser, though, included JoePa, both coordinators and at least 10 players. Though I almost gagged when loser fanboys gave JoePa an ovation at the end of his Q&A.
  10. hondo

    hondo Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry I didn't mention Virginia Tech before, especially since I had a great personal experience last year.
    I went to Tech to do advance work on the ACC championship game. They practiced indoors because of rain. I was told by the SID to just saunter in when I wanted, and I would get coaches and players after.

    Beamer was personally conducting a punt block drill near where I was standing He eventually noticed me and walked over and asked (nicely)who I was. I told him, and expected him to ask me to leave or something. He started shooting the bull with me about how I was finding Blacksburg and told me to go to a couple of good restaurants.

    He's a class act, even if he does recruit a hoodlum or two.
  11. Cosmo

    Cosmo Well-Known Member

    I will agree that B.J. can come off as kind of combative at Tech, but Dave Smith is as helpful as they come, especially when it comes to baseball.
  12. Hoo

    Hoo Active Member

    Indeed. Dave Smith is a gentleman, all the way.
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