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Univ. Miami football locker room no longer "open"

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Speedway, Jul 30, 2008.

  1. Speedway

    Speedway Member

    Jorge Milian has reported on his blog that Miami will no longer allow reporters into the football locker room following games. Randy Shannon's rationale is particularly disturbing.

    An old tradition is coming to the end at UM. Shannon announced Tuesday that he will no longer allow reporters to enter the team’s locker room after games. The Hurricanes, I believe, were only one of two college football teams - along with USC - to allow the practice. The problem? According to Shannon some unnamed players “voiced to me that they have a problem that some young ladies are over in the locker room that they go to school with, that are, what you call reporters…” Apparently, those players are not familiar with the use of a towel. What this about, of course, is control. Shannon, who would rather undergo daily colonoscopies than deal with the media, has steadily chipped away at reporters’ access since he became UM coach. Tuesday’s no-locker room announcement, part of a dim-witted football media policy released by the athletic department, is just another move in that direction.

  2. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    Blah, blah, blah.

    The school I cover has had a closed locker room since the first time I ever covered them almost 15 years ago. And while players can dodge the media sometimes because of this, I can't think of a single time it's ever really been a problem. (They can do so in "open" situations as well, by hiding in the training room or the shower).

    I've covered a few "open" locker room situations, and I find myself so pre-occupied with the smell and averting my eyes that it's hard to do my job. I'd just as soon have guys I need brought to me in a separate room after they're already dressed.

    Am I the only one who doesn't really care one way or the other?
  3. RedCanuck

    RedCanuck Active Member

    If you're guaranteed to get the guys you want and not have them with some PR person acting as a go between on every question, you're in good shape. Some places impose a lot of control in that sort of situation.

    Secondly, if you have the luxury against your deadlines to wait, that's also a good thing. Some people don't have the time to wait and wait for things.

    Also, it sounds like you have a good relationship with that organization. If someone new came into the school looking for interviews, would they get the same thing?

    To me, it all comes down to access. I have no problem with alternate arrangements, so long as they're workable and they don't limit the access a reporter has to doing his/her job well.
  4. tapintoamerica

    tapintoamerica Well-Known Member

    Personally, I prefer the closed locker room policy. Particularly after the team in question has lost. The only exception is a night game in which one play or player is the obvious subject of the story. Under those circumstances, it's frustrating to wait.
  5. clutchcargo

    clutchcargo Active Member

    The open locker room is obsolete, a luxury, and there's been enough give and take at most schools in media protocol to still make it possible to do your job---somewhat, although you do have your top-secret Kremlins such as Tennessee and Alabama.

    As far as Shannon himself goes, as far as I can tell, he's a totally unproven quantity whose media snubs will come back to torpedo him the first time he wins fewer than 8 games, which I reckon will be the case right out the gate.
  6. Simon_Cowbell

    Simon_Cowbell Active Member

    That ship has long sailed.
  7. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    Everybody (print, TV, radio, Internet) gets the same players in the same place at the same time. They'll put a "star of the game" at the podium sometimes after the coach, but usually you get 10-12 guys and it's catch-as-catch-can.

    I agree with the tight deadline thing, but the SIDs here usually work around that by bringing in those guys first.
  8. clutchcargo

    clutchcargo Active Member

    Simon--my bad. Head space and timing.
  9. It's a shame. Remember when Kellen Winslow II went on his "I'm a soldier for this U" tirade after the Tennessee loss a few years ago. Thought for certain they'd close it the next week. They didn't.

    One of the big-time D I schools in my area still has open locker room. The coach's idea is simple "these guys want to be in the NBA, this is how it is in the NBA."

    Schools love to have it both ways, no matter how big or small they are. My buddy that covers UF says they call the SID's office "The Firm." Cross the firm, and you end up Gene Hackman'd at the bottom of the sea.
  10. mustangj17

    mustangj17 Active Member

    I kind of understand the reasoning; but I bet that isn't the real reason.
  11. Pete Incaviglia

    Pete Incaviglia Active Member

    I prefer closed locker rooms. However, I'm in a good situation where the SID and PR flacks ALWAYS get me who I want. Hell, sometimes the coach asks "who you want?" and then sends them out before showers. I get to talk to them one-on-one in a side room with no loud radio, no interruptions, etc.

    I do cover a team on my summer beat with an "open locker room" and I hate it.

    These meatheads have a pack mentality when I get into the room. The idiot bench players (one in particular who NEVER plays) are constant comic relief, always interrupt an interview and the manager, he's awesome and thoughtful on the phone or one-on-one, is a complete idiot he's in his locker room "with the boys."
  12. forever_town

    forever_town Active Member

    Me too. For a whole multitude of reasons.
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