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Saturday, October 24, 2009
Media self-protection?

University of Montana football coach Bobby Hauck is getting raked over the coals because he (and the members of the team) are refusing to speak with reporters from The Kamin, the student newspaper, after the paper published a story (the facts of which have not been contested or criticized) about an on-campus assault allegedly involving two players. Hauck has publicly humiliated student reporters when they have tried to ask football-related questions at his weekly press conference ("Oh, now you want something from me?").

Hauck is certainly not the first college coach to go off on a 20-year-old student reporter in a way he most-assuredly never would do with a member of the professional (especially national) press, who he needs to publicize his team. (See, famously, Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy's "I'm a man, I'm 40" rant).

Here's what I find interesting and somewhat disappointing. No one from the professional media (the Missoula paper or local TV outlets) seems to have come to The Kamin's defense, namely by refusing to cover the team unless Hauck (if not the players) stopped boycotting student reporters. Contrast this with the stance of mainstream news outlets such as The Times as to the White House feud with Fox News; several have talked of not attending WH press events if Fox is excluded. For all the criticism of Hauck, this never seems to have come up.


Clarification on the Mike Gundy rant: He was absolutely reacting to a member of the professional media. In fact, he was reacting to a column by a columnist (Jenni Carlson) from the Oklahoman -- the biggest paper in the state. In that press conference, he refused to answer any other questions about the game (which Ok St had won) or address any other media member besides Carlson. In fact, by going after a prominent member of the professional media covering his team, Gundy was doing the very thing you claim coaches are loathe to do in this post.

Blogger William -- 10/25/2009 2:42 PM  

Furthering the irony, a similar notion was made in the case of Gundy as was made here. Here it is asked whether he would have acted the same way to the professional media. With Gundy, where it was professional media, it was whether he would have acted the same way to a man.

Further, incidentally, the coach here humiliated a 20 year old student-reporter, whereas in the case of Gundy, the motivation of his "tirade" was protecting his 21 year old student-athlete whom he felt was unfairly humiliated by the media.

Blogger Devin Black -- 10/26/2009 6:11 PM  

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