Newspaper Flexes On Southern, And The Media Is Here For It

Linebacker Anthony Balancier has been suspended for the first half of Southern’s matchup with Prairie View as a result of comments made to members of the media last week. (Brownsville Herald photo)

As if an 0-2 start and a home game against an upstart Prairie View wasn’t enough to deal with, Southern University also has a media nightmare on its hands. The Baton Rouge (LA) Advocate has stated it will reduce coverage of Southern’s football team after the university decided to limit access to three of its players. 

“Southern has chosen to limit access of its football team to three players until at least Oct. 5. Because of this policy, The Advocate will provide only minimal coverage of Southern’s football team.”

It all started when Southern linebacker Anthony Balancier told a local TV reporter that the team’s upcoming opponent, Northwestern State, was horrible. Northwestern State’s coaches and players admitted that the literally used his comments as bulletin board material. Shortly thereafter, Southern made it’s decision to limit media access, to which the Advocate took issue.

Southern AD Dr. William Brosaurd told HBCU Gameday he fully understands The Advocate’s decision and added it is a terrific media partner.

“They are a corporate owned paper–if there’s no market consequence for this,” he said, “then what’s their impetus to work around our restrictions, especially short staffed?”

As usually when something like this happens at an HBCU, it didn’t take long for the national media to come along and pile on. Deadspin had this to say: 

“Southern naturally blamed the media instead of its own crappy team, and declared that players would be off-limits to reporters except in very controlled situations.”

So is it that the paper couldn’t cover the team without talking to those three players? Or is it because a non-FBS school, an HBCU at that, decided it was not going to expose players it felt didn’t have the media savvy to deal with the reporters in the way that it wished?

Just yesterday, Deadspin reported that a South Carolina paper removed a reporter and hired a friend of USC coach Steve Spurrier’s to take his place…And The Advocate is pouting because a few players won’t be available? Granted, these are two different news organizations, but if Les Miles decided to deny access to three players, would The Advocate stop sending a columnist to the games?

// Reading through Twitter, there seems to be a lot of chest-poking going on among members of the media over The Advocate’s decision to limit coverage. Ironically, many of these same individuals have taken furloughs, been downsized or simply let go by the same media machine that controls The Advocate. You can’t make this stuff up!

I guess it’s all good until they decide they won’t ever go back to covering Southern full-time and eliminate yet another print media job. Seriously, folks, wake me up when a media outlet stops sending multiple reporters to cover one SEC team for doing what Southern did. Until then…Zzzzzzz

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