In a classic passive-aggressive move that would make any paranoid person proud, the OU football program canceled all media availability this week in response to the OU Daily going full Woodward and Bernstein to monitor the OU “quarterback controversy.”
In case you missed it, I guess a couple of enterprising student newspaper reporters grabbed some binoculars and, while hopefully posing as bird watchers, peeped on practice from a nearby public building.
While observing the team from afar like Dean Blevins monitoring a sorority house, they noted that Red River Shootout hero Caleb Williams was taking a majority of reps with the first team in practice, while Spencer Rattler was left working with the backups – an earth-shattering report that surprises literally no one.
In addition to that, they also talked to Spencer Rattler’s dad about his son’s imminent benching and fall from grace.
— OU Daily Sports (@OUDailySports) October 12, 2021
After the report dropped, OU canceled media availability. This miffed people in the local media who depend on OU football quotes to fill air time and meet pageview quotas.
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
The Tulsa World claims the decision came from “Somone above Lincoln Riley,” which I buy as much as Lincoln Riley claiming he’s still undecided on who will start this week against TCU:
The decision, which was made by someone “higher than Lincoln Riley,” came less than one hour from a scheduled media availability and one day after a report by the OU student newspaper on quarterback repetitions at practice. https://t.co/rt0z18IShd
— Tulsa World (@tulsaworld) October 13, 2021
Honestly, I think the whole thing’s kind of funny.
First of all, I think everyone and their dog was aware that Caleb Williams was going to get more first-team reps at practice. This would be like O’Colly reporters spying on OSU’s football practice and then reporting that Spencer Sanders threw a lot of interceptions. Thanks for confirming what we already knew!
That being said, kudos to the OU Daily reporters for having the nerves to pull off this journalistic stunt. I have a lot of pals in the OU sports media world, and I don’t think any of them have the balls to grab a pair of binoculars, spy on practice, and then report what they saw.
You can’t really blame them. Unlike the student reporters, these guys have careers to worry about. They need to maintain good relationships with coaches and players in order to get “insider info” to feed hungry OU football fans. One way to quickly lose that access is to spy on practice and then report what you saw.
Journalism students, on the other hand, have nothing to lose. Journalism is an oversaturated and dying field, so what does it matter if they burn an OU football bridge or two? They’re probably better off moving out of state anyway.
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