I see on ESPN’s college football page that Baylor’s assistant coaches will be off limits to media this fall.
This is news?
I thought everyone was off limits nowadays.
I’ve mentioned this before, but during the build-up to the 2009 Sugar Bowl, I interviewed one of Alabama’s assistant coaches. I mentioned to a reporter who covered the Tide that the coach must easy to work with. The reporter said he wouldn’t know, they weren’t allowed to interview assistant coaches during the season.
Head coach Nick Saban said there was only one spokesman for Alabama football, and that was him.
I thought that was weird.
Not long after, the philosophy found itself out to Utah, which now allows only rare access to assistant coaches during game weeks. One assistant is picked, once a week, to speak a few minutes to reporters. So a reporter may reach a certain coach twice during a season.
The rules aren’t so strict at Utah State. Last time I wanted to talk to a USU assistant,I was allowed, no problem. He added a lot to my perspective.
Regarding Baylor, the ESPN article noted, “While many schools restrict media access to assistant coaches, Baylor assistants were routinely available when requested in the past.”
I don’t expect many to side with the media on this one. Freedom of access might not matter to fans, as long as the team is winning. So the public misses out on insights, anecdotes, substance and perspective. (Side note: Head coaches complain that the media is ignorant and don’t know all the facts, yet restrict access to information.)
My question is whether limiting access has anything at all to do with winning.
Or is it just about controlling the message?