By: Benjamin E. Lykens (Whetstone Staff Writer)
Athletic Director Mike Drass said the rule prohibiting athletes from talking to members of the media, including The Whetstone, without prior approval was simply a misunderstanding.
“I think there was a misconception of what we were trying to do,” Drass said. “Steven (Kramer) is the facilitator, not the gatekeeper. I want the media to have a positive experience when they deal with Wesley.”
Drass sent an email to Wesley’s coaches clarifying the rule.
“You can certainly talk to the media,” Drass wrote in the email. “Your players can too…we would just like to suggest to media that it be before practice or after the 10 minute cooling off period after a game.”
The “Sports Information” sheet distributed by Kramer reads: “ALL interview requests including student, local or national media, for Wesley College student-athletes or coaches, must be made through Steven Kramer, Director of Sports Information….”
Faculty and staff involved in the dilemma were happy to hear of the email.
“The email from coach Drass has clarified the rule and I am happy with his statement,” said Dr. Tony Armstrong, a political science professor, who said that freedom of speech for students is one the college’s most important rights.
Others said they were most pleased with the final sentences: “There are no consequences for a player who talks to the media…please reinforce that with all your players.”
Sophomore Kailyn Wingate is friends with a lot of athletes and said she was happy for them that the rule was changed.
“I think it’s good,” Wingate said. “I thought it was a stupid rule because they were treating athletes like they were special. They are no different than any other student.”
Sophomore linebacker, Joe Egan said that wasn’t aware of the rule in the first place.
“It doesn’t change my opinion because I don’t ever have a reason to talk to the press anyway,” he said.
Freshman fullback and tight end John Upchurch said he likes the media and welcomes the opportunity to be able to speak his mind.
“I’m all right with it,” Upchurch said. “I never had any press in high school. I think that being able to talk to the media helps people understand what is going on with us, what is going on in our heads.”
THE EMAIL COACH DRASS SENT TO COACHES
From: Drass, Michael
Sent: Wednesday, September 12, 2012 2:06 PM
To: Athletic Coaches
Cc: Phillips, Dr. Raymond; Dwyer, Dr. Patricia M.
I will update the staff on our Media Policy during our bye-week..but please remember that Steven is a facilitator for the media he is not the gate keeper who decides if you can talk with media (anyone can talk with media). You can certainly talk to the media. Your players can too…we would just like to suggest to media that it be before practice or after the 10 minute cooling off period after a game.
There are no consequences for a player who talks to the media…please reinforce that with all your players.
Michael P. Drass
Director of Athletics
Head Football Coach