Wednesday, September 01, 2010

See No Evil

When I was younger I had a subscription to a publication called Dallas Cowboys Weekly. (It still exists, just in a slightly different format). It was interesting (and the pictures of the cheerleaders were great), but I eventually stopped my subscription, because even as a teenager I realized the magazine was only giving me the "official" Cowboys party line.

The situation here at Ole Miss with Jeremiah Masoli reminds me a lot of the old Cowboys Weekly. You probably heard about the NCAA's decision to deny football eligibility for former Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, who was trying to play this season at Ole Miss. It was big news nationally, and especially here in Mississippi.

What's interesting is that the University's official website has not a single mention of it, even on the page called "Newsdesk." The athletic department site does have press conference comments from athletic director Pete Boone, Masoli and coach Houston Nutt. However, there is nothing beyond that and you'll notice that no reporter questions were allowed to be asked.

Understand, this is not simply a rip on Ole Miss. All universities do the same thing during crisis situations--circle the wagons, limit access and say absolutely as little as possible. The fact that Ole Miss even made Nutt and Masoli available speaks in its favor.

But it also reminds us how limited "official" sources are. Ole Miss Sports is going to give you the party line, which generally means "all good news, all the time." That's why we have independent
media--so they can give us the full story, warts and all, even if that story is unpleasant. Yes, the media do go overboard at times in bringing us that story, but that's the price we have to pay to get at the truth.

And, sad to say, DCW apparently no longer has a cheerleader feature.


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