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Monday, December 22, 2014

Collegiate Athletes Shouldn’t Have to Face Media After Season-Ending Losses

I’ve thought this many times before, exactly at the same moments I described in the headline, but never wrote about it until now. Seeing Taylor Griffin and Blake Griffin mope and weep in the press conference following their loss to North Carolina Sunday really broke me down. What’s to gain by having them come face and speak to the media? In Taylor’s case, his season and career just came to an end, and in all likelihood, that was the last non-pickup game he’ll ever play. For Blake, that was probably the last college game he’ll ever play. Both were clearly devastated, red-faced, and hardly able to say anything of meaning to the media. After seeing that, it just made me wonder why these young, college athletes are forced to meet the media after season-ending losses.

As I discussed when I criticized the writer for questioning Ty Lawson’s guts, amateur, college athletes should be treated differently from the pros. Professional athletes make money because of the fans and the popularity gained by the media — writers and reporters have jobs to do and they need the players’ cooperation to do so. When it comes to collegiate athletes, a little heart and compassion would go a long way. If they need a quote for their stories, let them get it from the coaches that get paid millions to deal with the media. Don’t force the players to meet the media at a time like that. And just so we’re clear, I’m only talking about situations where the team’s season has just come to an end. If players want to speak with the media, it should be optional, not mandatory. Otherwise I can’t figure out why else the Griffin bros had to face the firing squad following the loss. I thought the same exact thing after the BCS championship game. The people organizing the events need to be more considerate and sensitive to the feelings of these young athletes.



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