Oklahoma bans media over student newspaper spying on practice?
The University of Oklahoma’s student newspaper went to great lengths this week to gather information about what Lincoln Riley plans to do at the quarterback position, and the ambitious reporting may have led to a media ban.
Oklahoma abruptly canceled all of its media availabilities on Wednesday and announced that there will be no more media access until after Saturday’s game against TCU. No reason was provided.
OU football has canceled all media availabilities today. No reason given. No more media until after Saturday's game.
— Carson Cunningham (@KOCOCarson) October 13, 2021
Most people believe the reason is fairly obvious. On Tuesday, The Oklahoma Daily published a story that included information from the Sooners’ practice and quotes from Spencer Rattler’s father. The second paragraph of the piece stated that reporters observed practice without permission.
“The Daily watched the offensive practice regimen from a public building near the OU football practice field, with no athletics employees discouraging observation,” the story reads. “The Daily does not observe practice regularly, but did so Tuesday under heightened interest given the situation.”
Rattler was benched during Saturday’s Red River Showdown against Texas and replaced by freshman Caleb Williams. The Sooners were trailing 38-20 at halftime, but they came all the way back to beat their rival in dramatic fashion. Naturally, that has led to speculation that Rattler will lose his starting job going forward.
There were rumblings on Monday that Rattler missed practice due to an illness. His father, Mike Rattler, told The Daily that the absence was cleared through Riley and that Rattler remains committed to the program.
Riley is almost certainly unhappy that the student paper watched practice without permission. If you remember, the Sooners took a drastic measure last year just to prevent students from spying on practice. That’s one of the reasons Wednesday’s news was not shocking.