Bradley University is heading to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 13 years, but what should have been a week of celebration for the Braves and their fans turned sour after the school’s athletic department limited access to the team for the man that had been covering it for nearly three decades.
Dave Reynolds, a beat reporter for the Peoria Journal Star, writes that he was told by the team’s sports information director “basically we don’t want you here.”
“One of the players I wanted to talk with was Nate Kennell, and I motioned to Jason, ‘I’d like to talk to Nate.’ [Veniskey] said, ‘I want to talk to you for a minute.’
“He pulled me aside and said their policy of me not given extra coverage opportunity was still in place, and I was not allowed to do any interviews. I told him, ‘The newspaper received the invitation.’ He said, ‘That was directed to (Huett), not to you.’ I said, ‘He doesn’t cover the team. I have for 29 years.’
“He responded by saying, ‘You don’t promote the Bradley brand, and basically we don’t want you here.’ I said, ‘Jason, that’s not my job to promote the Bradley brand. You know that.’Peoria Journal Star
It is a gripe that was echoed by the team’s coach Brian Wardle. Reynolds told his colleagues that Wardle had complained to him that he was always looking for the negative slant to stories about the team.
Bradley University issued a statement about the incident on Twitter. The school doesn’t seem to be backing down from its position.
Just four hours later though, the school changed its tune, when President Gary Roberts issued a statement of his own directly to The Journal Star.
“The article in the Peoria Journal Star on Saturday, March 16, relating to the Bradley men’s basketball program’s interaction with Peoria Journal Star writer Dave Reynolds took me by surprise. I knew there were issues between Dave and Coach Wardle in the past and I was under the impression that those issues had been resolved.
“I do not know for sure what happened between Dave Reynolds and representatives of the men’s basketball program other than what is recounted in the article. I am also unaware and unclear about any policy that the men’s basketball program has informally applied to Dave or anyone else. I will certainly look into the matter. What I can say at this time is the following:
“1. I personally and Bradley University institutionally do not believe that it is the job or duty of anyone in the media or any media outlet to promote Bradley’s brand. It is the media’s job to report the news and facts in a truthful and unbiased way and occasionally to express opinions that are reasoned and based on accurate facts as best they know them.
“2. There is certainly no formal policy at Bradley University that allows for barring or limiting access to any member of the media or any media outlet. If that has occurred, it was inconsistent with Bradley’s general attitude toward the media and what I would regard as the implicit policy of the University.
“3. Going forward, all employees of Bradley University will be informed that it is Bradley’s policy that all members of the media are to be treated on a non-discriminatory basis when it comes to access to information and people.
“I hope this clarifies the position of Bradley University that some have called into question.
“Bradley’s men’s basketball team has come a long way and accomplished much this year. Everyone associated with Bradley should be proud and excited for this outstanding group of young men who have distinguished themselves not only on the basketball court but in the classroom and the community as well. We want very much to focus on these young men and their accomplishments and to prepare for our participation in the NCAA Tournament. This time should not be about a quarrel between adults that may have led to missteps that will not be repeated. Go Braves!”Bradley University President Gary Roberts’s statement to the Peoria Journal Star
Even if the school president hadn’t reversed the athletic department’s decision, there still wouldn’t have been a change to Dave Reynolds’s access to the team during the NCAA Tournament. The NCAA controls media access to the teams involved in the Tournament.
Reynolds issued his own statement in which he accepted Bradley’s apology and thanked Gary Roberts for creating a media policy for the school and its representatives.
Washington Post Reporter Sally Jenkins Details Jerry Jones Reporting to Dan Le Batard
“We just started to research to ask him questions about it and we came across that photo.”
A report from The Washington Post that featured a photo of Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones witnessing the controversial integration of North Little Rock High School in 1957 caused a stir late last week, and one of the reporters on the project, Sally Jenkins, detailed how it came to be to Dan Le Batard Monday.
“It was part of a larger project,” Jenkins said of the discovery of the photo. “We came across this photo of Jones. It’s at the start of the school year at North Little Rock High School. He’s on the cusp of his 15th birthday and he’s very clearly identifiable in the photo, which ran on the front page of The New York Times in 1957 because Little Rock was undergoing a real crisis of desegregating it’s schools to the the point that (President Dwight D.) Eisenhower had to send the 101st Airborne into Little Rock to quell violence over black kids trying to go to white schools.
“We knew that Jerry Jones had witness — or at least lived through — a tough civil rights era in Little Rock, and we wanted to talk to him about that. We just started to research it to ask him questions about it and we came across that photo.”
The Washington Post debuted a nine-part series entitled “Blackout” that dove into why there are not more minority head coaches in the NFL. They asked every NFL owner for an interview for the project, but Jones was the only one to agree.
Stugotz asked Jenkins if it was fair to judge someone from a photo taken of them while they were a child, referring to some of the media backlish pushed towards Jones because of the photo.
“Of course not,” Jenkins said. “What is fair is to ask him about what he witnessed, ask him what he experienced, ask him how his views may have changed, or if they did change at all, ask him how he has evolved on issues of social justice or racial justice. And the fact is he has evolved, particularly recently. He started out as a real hard-liner on the Colin Kaepernick situation. At one point, Jerry Jones said ‘The Dallas Cowboys will stand for the anthem and tow the line’, and he’s really softened on that.”
She later conceded the answers Jones provided won’t satisfy everyone, and said there are legitimate questions about his positioning in the photograph, noting the Little Rock Six were spit on, and had the n-word shouted at them from those standing on the steps where Jones was located.
Mike Francesa: George Steinbrenner’s Idea to Put Mike and The Mad Dog On YES Network
“It was George’s idea. So give him credit for it. He wanted Mike and The Mad Dog as part of the CBS Radio contract, and we were.”
Mike and The Mad Dog is often cited as one of, if not the, best sports radio shows of all time. The show saw an expanded reach with its partnership with the YES Network beginning in 2002. During his podcast Tuesday, Mike Francesa gave all the credit to the simulcast hitting the air on YES Network to the late Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.
“It was George Steinbrenner that came up with the idea of Mike and The Mad Dog being on the YES Network. No one else,” Francesa said.
“They came to us when they were negotiating a new radio deal with him and they said ‘Hey, we need a quick answer on this. Would you guys want to be on the YES Network every day, simulcasting? You know what Imus is doing with MSNBC? We wanna do it with you guys, but we need a very quick answer’.”
Francesa said the show airing on YES Network was a sticking point for the Yankees in negotiations with CBS Radio to continue airing the franchise’s broadcasts.
“Our first deal with them were not for a lot of money. Our later deals with them were for a very significant amount of money. But it was George’s idea. So give him credit for it. He wanted Mike and The Mad Dog as part of the CBS Radio contract, and we were. Our joining the YES Network was part of the CBS Radio contract.”
Dave Portnoy Reveals Back-And-Forth With New York Times Reporter Who Claimed He ‘Did Not Provide Answers’
“You waited till (sic) your hit piece was done and now you just need to say you gave me a fair chance to speak even though you have no interest in the truth and your article is already written”.
A story from The New York Times centered around “aging casino company” — Penn National Gaming — and its relationship with “degenerate gambler” — Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy — caught the eye of the face of the online outlet after the claim that he “didn’t provide answers”.
In the story, Steel claims “Penn and Barstool executives did not respond to repeated messages. Mr. Portnoy did not provide answers.” Portnoy brought the receipts to Twitter with a video of all of the correspondence he had with Times writer Emily Steel.
The alleged conversation takes place sporadically from May through November, with Portnoy offering to meet face-to-face with Steel for an interview that is mutually audio and video recorded, which Steel declines. She offered to meet Portnoy in New York for an audio recorded interview, which he declined, saying the interview needed to take place in Miami, because “I’m not running around to accommodate you at the 11th hour.”
He added “You waited till (sic) your hit piece was done and now you just need to say you gave me a fair chance to speak even though you have no interest in the truth and your article is already written”.