Occasionally, while doing research for a UGA-centered post I come across something totally unrelated to University of Georgia football that DawgSports readers really need to know about. That happened last night when I learned somewhat belatedly of University of Miami coach Randy Shannon's new media policy (courtesy of the Palm Beach Post's Jorge Milian):
Shannon announced Tuesday that he will no longer allow reporters to enter the team’s locker room after games. The Hurricanes, I believe, were only one of two college football teams - along with USC - to allow the practice. The problem? According to Shannon some unnamed players “voiced to me that they have a problem that some young ladies are over in the locker room that they go to school with, that are, what you call reporters…”
OK, wait just a darn minute. You're telling me that University of Miami football players, the keepers of the 7th Floor Crew legacy, are sheepish about being seen in the altogether by coed reporters? Are you kidding? As Milian posited "Apparently those players aren't familiar with the use of a towel." I'm sorry, but you'd be much more likely to convince me that Shannon is having a difficult time preventing players from exposing themselves.
Milian sees through your shannon-igans,Coach. The Post's Miami beatwriter posits that "What this about, of course, is control. Shannon, who would rather undergo daily colonoscopies than deal with the media, has steadily chipped away at reporters’ access since he became UM coach." I suspect that either a) Milian is correct, and Shannon just doesn't want to have to deal with reporters, or b) that Shannon doesn't want his players to have to deal with reporters in the locker room, and is worried about the things his young team might say. If I had Shannon's quarterback situation and was coming off the type of 5-7 season he had last year, I wouldn't want those darned reporters roaming around either. If Da U gets shellacked by 48 points by Virginia again, those pesky taperecorder jockeys are likely to start asking questions. Next thing you know you have bloggers running around the place, and you have to call the exterminator. . .
In all seriousness, Miami is not alone in not allowing reporters in the lockerroom. Milian says that only USC now allows them, but I think there are a few other programs that do. Georgia has allowed some limited locker room access in the past, if I recall correctly. Maybe one of you mainstream media types can correct me if I'm wrong. But this does seem like further evidence that the Shannon honeymoon in south Florida is over after only one season. If Miami drops two of their first five games (which I would deem likely) or even three (which isn't out of the realm of possibility), this relationship could sour even further. Just one of the gazillion things that bears watching across the landscape of college football.