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Sunday, December 21, 2014

Charlie Weis, Kansas trying to intimidate student reporter

Charlie Weis continues to have issues with the student newspaper at Kansas University.

The Jayhawks football coach expressed his displeasure with the The University Daily Kansan last week for running a cover image that called the Jayhawks “Road Kill” for Kansas State prior to last Saturday’s game.

Weis wrote the following two tweets in response to the cover:

The paper’s cover proved prescient; Kansas was crushed 56-16 by Kansas State.

Though Weis should be more concerned with the status of his 1-4 football team, he seems preoccupied with the student newspaper’s football writer.

According to a story published in the Daily Kansan, the football team’s media relations director met with Blake Schuster, who wrote the article accompanied by the road kill image, to warn him against asking Weis questions during a Tuesday press conference.

Here’s Schuster’s account of the meeting (via The Kansan):

[Schuster] said [Kansas director of football communications Kathy] Lonergan told him it would be in his best interest not to ask questions.

Before the weekly football press conference, Lonergan invited Schuster to a meeting in her office with Mike Cummings, assistant director of communications for KU Athletics. During the meeting, Lonergan warned Schuster about possible negative reactions to last Thursday’s Kansan cover art and story. She told him these negative attitudes could be directed toward him.

Unsurprisingly, Lonergan felt the meeting served a different purpose. More from The Kansan:

Lonergan said she did not tell Schuster to refrain from asking questions.

“I just simply advised him that if he did ask questions, he should be prepared for any kind of tone in his answer,” she said.

She said the goal of the meeting was to make Schuster not feel uncomfortable during the press conference. She said she warned Schuster to “be prepared for a possible change in tone.”

Lonergan compared her conversation with Schuster to situations in which she had questioned other sports reporters about the correctness of their quotes or their lack of sources in stories. She said she would have done the same with any reporter.

You can believe whomever you choose in this situation.

Being 1-4 is a bad enough look for the program, but meddling with student reporters makes Kansas and Weis look even more pathetic.

We don’t condone coaches intimidating reporters regardless of any circumstances. But for some reason it has become a trend among coaches like Lane Kiffin, Urban Meyer, and Nick Saban, and it has trickled down to many others. Even Weis has been doing it since 2006. This is what happens when you have controlling coaches trying to control everything.

H/T The Big Lead



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