Montana Football Coach Bans Team from Speaking with Student Newspaper

University of Montana football coach Bobby Hauck is throwing a prolonged temper tantrum worthy of Will.i.am aimed directly at the student press. He is refusing to speak to The Montana Kaimin, the school’s student newspaper, and has instructed his team and staff to boycott the publication as well.  Why? Because, wait for it, the Kaimin had the gall to not only publish an accurate story about two football players’ alleged misdeeds but also then ask Hauck some tame football questions at recent press conferences. Inglourious Basterds they are not. Sounds more like quality journalists to me.

The incident, which I’m labeling the Bobby Ban affair (or maybe the Hauck-sucker Proxy?), has now gone viral. National news outlets are weighing in, all in the Kaimin‘s favor. In a ridonkulously funny, eye-opening column, Jeff Pearlman at Sports Illustrated provides a nice recap of the ban’s origins: “The whole ordeal dates back a month ago, when the Kaimin published a piece about an alleged assault on a student by two Montana football players.  The content of the article hasn’t been questioned, and the reporter made certain to contact Hauck and the players before publication.  When the reporter asked the coach about the incident, Hauck cursed him out, then tried to cover up his tape recorder. . . . At a recent weekly news conference, a Kaimin reporter asked Hauck a simple question about his quarterbacks. ‘You want something from me now?’ the coach replied. ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.'”

Football

Great move, coach. Alienate the most prominent voice of your fan base. Next up: Start insulting star recruits’ mothers. With the national press now taking aim at his egomania, I imagine the phrase “Bobby’s career on the sidelines” will take on a whole new meaning once the season is complete. And the best part, the Kaimin will get to cover it. :-)

On a side-note, a quote from Editor & Publisher, circa 1949: A student newspaper “can raise more hell on a college campus than spiked punch at the dean’s reception for freshmen women.” In respect to this positive ability to impact its coverage area, the Kaimin officially wins the first CMM “Spiked Punch” award. The paper’s pissing off of the football coach comes only months after it similarly riled up a wacko faculty member at the school for publishing its first sex column in its roughly 110-year history. Quality journalism, oh the agony!  To the paper’s editor, Allison Maier, keep up the fight! You’re national now. :-)

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