Notre Dame Places Media Guidelines On Practices, Joining Growing CFB Trend
Notre Dame has set a "list of guidelines for media" covering football practices this preseason, according to the SOUTH BEND TRIBUNE. Among the guidelines are no "references to plays run or game strategy" and no "reporting of which players are practicing with individual units." Reporters may cover "non-strategy and non-game plan observations." Other guidelines include no reporting on practice injuries "until the team has provided an official update" and no quoting, paraphrasing or reporting comments "made by coaches or players during practice sessions." The guidelines also include "rules for shooting video of practices" (SOUTH BEND TRIBUNE, 8/6). In Tampa, Tom Jones notes ESPN's Paul Finebaum yesterday on "SportsCenter" said, "It feels like there's a class war against the media. ... I really expected more from Notre Dame. Notre Dame used to stand for what's best and I was, frankly, embarrassed to read the stipulations they handed out.'' He added, "I'm not really sure where the media goes because I'm not sure college football fans really care about all this. They want (reporters) to be spoon fed about how great their team is. They really don't want objective reporting" (TAMPA BAY TIMES, 8/7). SI.com's Richard Deitsch wrote these guidelines are "never about practice." They are about "censoring access, controlling messages, and intimidating the press." Both local and national reporters "should push back, and take every opportunity to explain to the public why these regressive measures are anti-press freedom." Deitsch: "They should also tweet what they hear and see from practice if they find it newsworthy for the public" (SI.com, 8/6).
WHAT'S THE DEAL? In Georgia, Scott Michaux noted LSU coach Ed Orgeron has also "banned the media from all preseason practices, the most restrictive policy in the SEC where most teams typically allow limited access to brief portions of practice." The move is the kind of "paranoid policy that is more likely to generate more disinformation as reporters have to piece together what’s happening exclusively from second-hand sources." More and more, coaches are "trying to 'control the narrative' and inhibit responsible criticism." Michaux: "It makes you wonder what these programs are hiding" (AUGUSTA CHRONICLE, 8/4). In Tucson, Greg Hansen notes Arizona also has "joined scores of college football organizations such as Notre Dame, Texas and Oregon in intensifying restrictions for the media at pre-practice warmup sessions." Hansen: "It seems so trivial" (ARIZONA DAILY STAR, 8/6).
TWITTER REAX: The Journalist's Toolbox' Mike Reilly: "Laughable media restrictions from Notre Dame football. Media must push back hard on this. College teams paranoid over practices." Scout.com's Pete Sampson: "As someone actually affected by Notre Dame’s new media policy, it was less restrictive than as first published. Some give and take already." Former ESPN The Magazine reporter Jim Weber: "Great reminder that college football coaches are biggest control freaks IN THE WORLD." Rivals' Radi Nabulsi: "Notre Dame joins LSU in the race to see who can implement the stupidest media policies in the nation." Yahoo Sports' Justin Rowland: "Too much media coverage is reason number 456 why a 32 year old like me can't remember Notre Dame as great."