10/9/2012: Posted yesterday on the UO athletic department’s GoDucks.com website:
There is misinformation about the University of Oregon Athletic Department’s interview policy for student-athletes, coaches and administrators. To provide clarity to this long-standing policy, all interview requests are to be arranged through the Athletic Communications office.
The practice, which is the same at all Pac-12 member institutions, is in place to help manage the interview process for individuals. Student-athletes face the unique challenge of balancing extremely busy schedules involving class, studying, practice, training room and competition. Student-athlete welfare is paramount, and that includes eliminating potentially intrusive situations.
If contacted by a media member unaware of the policy or in blatant disregard for the policy, student-athletes and athletic department personnel are instructed to contact the Athletic Communications office to properly schedule the interview. In no way does the policy require student-athletes or department personnel to refrain from sharing their views or opinions on a topic.
It’s all about protecting the athletes from excessive talking. Orwell would love that last sentence – it doesn’t require they keep quiet, it just makes it really fucking clear that the AD will know what they say and that there may be consequences. I’d interview some “student-athletes” what they think of having big brother Craig Pintens looking over their shoulder, but … .
From what I can tell Rob Mullens and his crew felt the need to re-iterate this policy after the recent public meeting on random duck drug testing, where the lone athlete present refused to speak with Register Guard reporter Diane Dietz:
University of Oregon tennis player Lena Macomson listened intently Wednesday at a sparsely attended public hearing on the university’s new policy to require drug tests on a random basis from student athletes.
And though she appeared to be the only athlete in the room — and so the only one potentially subject to the proposed requirement to give a urine sample — she didn’t take the floor to testify as to how she felt about the matter.
Macomson said afterward that she could not speak to a reporter without first getting the permission of Andy McNamara, assistant athletic director for media relations.
Dietz got one player to speak later on the phone, obviously he caught hell for it. I wonder who tells Craig and Andy what they can say to whom?