Media ban will be a magnet for Louisville football

The word from Charlie Strong’s office is that the local media is banned for the remainder of the University of Louisville football’s spring practice sessions.

Is the coach miffed about all the basketball coverage in recent weeks that forced football to a couple of paragraphs deep inside the Courier-Journal? One shouldn’t be surprised. The C-J seems to have plenty of ink and personnel for basketball but little for football.

Kentucky teams advancing into the NCAA Final Four were accompanied by WAR-sized headlines on the front page, sports sections and special sections. This from a publication shrinking in terms of number of pages, stretching the newspaper’s resources to the limit.

While Strong recognizes the significance of the Final Four, he has to wonder about the over-the-top coverage. He came to Louisville from Florida where football never ever takes a back seat to basketball. There are only four states in the union where that could happen — Kentucky, Indiana, Kansas and North Carolina — states that have never enjoyed much success in football.

The C-J exploits the fanatical obsession with basketball on a year-round basis, despite the indisputable fact that football is the premier sport in college athletics.   The rest of the country emits a collective yawn, goes to bed early during the championship basketball game and quickly refocuses its attention on how spring football practice is going. Like the name of last year’s Kentucky Derby winner, many sports fans will have already forgotten in two months who won the NCAA basketball tournament.

There’s also the possibility that Strong is making some major changes in the playbook or in personnel, changes he wants to keep quiet as much as possible in a micro sports world. But we doubt it. Some argue that it may be foolish to ban the local media, that it’s counter-productive. That may be but he finally has their attention.

Now that the newspaper and other media have been banned from practice sessions, we can expect a resurgence of interest in UofL football. Nothing peaks media interest into a situation more than being denied access to it. They’ll be back in a couple of days, count on it.

Strong knows from firsthand experience what happens when a community or a state has had sustained success in college football. That’s what he says he is committed to bringing to Louisville. For that to happen, he also has to educate the local media in the process, one stuck in the yesteryears of football mediocrity, getting all of its jollies on another sport.

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Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

10 thoughts on “Media ban will be a magnet for Louisville football

  • April 9, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    Indiana hasn’t enjoyed football success? I forgot Notre Dame is in Kentucky.

    • April 10, 2012 at 9:35 am

      Good point about Notre Dame, which is a unique situation. Thanks for bringing it up. Been a while since they’ve done anything but the school’s athletics are respected largely because of what ND accomplished in football ions ago.

  • April 10, 2012 at 8:20 am

    In Charlie Strong We Trust. If ‘Chollie’ wants a media-free practice regimen, there’s plenty else out there to cover. Derby draws closer, the baseball and softball teams are doing quite well and the continuing saga of Bobby Petrino is always good for a few lines each day.

    Respect the man, his wishes and be thankful he’s still on the UofL sidelines.

    (Maybe he wants to see how the “infra-red” football jerseys look before he displays them to the photo-togs and scribes out there.)

  • April 10, 2012 at 10:49 am

    Eliminate the distractions as they plan for the national TV beat down of the team up the road and jump start the season.

  • April 10, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    you are big time because of no WVU, easy schedule only. you will be (at best) meat for the grinder of any major conference..and youre upset b/c the media loves basketball? wake up CS, everyone else does too. the media should extend his ban INTO THE SEASON.

    • April 10, 2012 at 2:34 pm

      I was wondering how long it would take for WVU to chime in. At best, top 10. You read it here.

    • April 10, 2012 at 5:39 pm

      Seems to me we just beat WVA, There! Your lack of memory is exceeded only by your lack of teeth.

  • April 10, 2012 at 9:26 pm

    First off, you are way off base if you think there was overcoverage of basketball.

    You folks were at the epicenter of March Madness, and football is just not news in March and early April.

  • April 10, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    Oh, and no, this is not going to impact interest in a positive way.

    If anything people won’t bother to pay attention.

    • April 10, 2012 at 10:23 pm

      Things will be fine, Bill. Charlie Strong is probably the most popular guy in town.

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