TCU Coach Behind Student Reporter’s Banishment

Last month, TCU student reporter Brian Smith dared to share his opinion about the Horned Frogs’ QB situation, stating on the Mountain West’s TV network that freshman Casey Pachall was good enough to unseat shaky starter Andy Dalton. Well, TCU media relations director Mark Cohen doesn’t like students having an opinion about the football team other than “Go Frogs!”, so he got Smith sacked from the airwaves.

Gary Patterson TCU coach

But Cohen isn’t alone in the blame of banishing Brian. Apparently Mark was just doing the dirty work for the man who really wants to mute the media - TCU head coach Gary Patterson.

THE WIZ OF ODDS passes along an article from Jim Reeves of the FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, in which the coach told Reeves that if there’s anyone to blame for the Brian Smith brouhaha, “Blame me.”

Not that Patterson is apologizing for anything:

“I believe Brian Smith is entitled to his opinion,” Patterson said, “but when he’s in front of that Campus Cam and our media relations office is setting it up, as far as I’m concerned, he’s representing TCU and TCU football and that’s my problem with it.”

Here’s what’s causing Patterson to be all p.o.’ed - even though the coach admits he still hasn’t even seen the clip yet:

And that’s probably the only time you’ll ever watch anything on the Mtn. - except for any sideline reporting by Molly Sullivan.

But the way Gary tells it, Brian shouldn’t have been put in front of the Campus Cam in the first place:

“In my opinion, he’s not qualified to answer those questions,” said Patterson, who says that Smith attended just one of 18 spring practices, along with the spring game. “I am.”

Lance Leipold and Urban Meyer must be very proud.

But everyone else on the planet thinks the whole thing is absurd. Even TCU teachers are calling out Cohen & Patterson’s questionable move:

“I just think it was a dumb decision by the school, and they acted before they knew all the details,” said former Star-Telegram editor and ombudsman Phil Record, who teaches ethics at TCU’s Bob Schieffer School of Journalism. “The athletic department overreacted. Ethically, I think they made a bad decision.”

But if there is a silver lining to this dark cloud of attempted censorship, it’s that Brian Smith should have very little trouble gaining employment once he graduates next weekend, thanks to all this publicity.