In the aftermath of Iowa's wooftastic 45-28 loss to Tennessee in the (sigh) TaxSlayer Bowl, reporters were obviously eager to speak to C.J. Beathard, who played most of the game after indicating that another game on the bench would lead to a transfer.
Indeed. Beathard was willing to speak to the media, and by all indications the sports information department was fine with it too. The football program itself, though... had other ideas.
CJB came out to talk and had two police and the director of football ops walking him out. Sheriff Ron said "No interviews."— marcmorehouse (@marcmorehouse) January 3, 2015
Iowa's football operation didn't allow QBs to face reporters. Sports information people had nothing to do with it. Both QBs would've talked.— Mike Hlas (@Hlas) January 3, 2015
Des Moines Register reporter Chad Leistikow has the video. Our apologies for the auto-play.
There's no positive way to spin this kind of behavior. There's just not. It's not like the police put Beathard in a headlock and dragged him away or whatever, but c'mon. It shouldn't be a policeman's job to keep a player away from reporters. A football program shouldn't be so terrified of a player speaking to reporters that coaches (or the ops director, but let's not play coy about who calls shots like these—it's Ferentz) ask Sheriff Ron to escort a kid away. If there was any internal confidence in the state of the program, any security in what the program does and how defensible its decisions are, this doesn't happen. Transparency isn't a sign of weakness.
Nick Saban's the most controlling, anal-retentive coach in America, and he doesn't use uniformed police to take players away from interviews. Urban Meyer doesn't keep his players off Twitter. Mark Dantonio doesn't lock his guys down like they're grounded as a matter of routine.
You know who ran the football version of the Kremlin, though? Brady Hoke and Dave Brandon at Michigan. How'd that work out for the Wolverines? Whole lot of competitive advantage there, huh?
Beathard was 13-23 for 145 yards in the loss with two late scores and an interception, which is not great but certainly better than Jake Rudock's brutal 2-8 afternoon; Beathard also added 82 yards rushing. Rudock... did not. Anyway. It sure would have been nice to hear what Beathard thought of the day.
Jake Rudock and C.J. Beathard are both 21. They are old enough, and mature enough. to say if they aren't comfortable answering a question.— John Bohnenkamp (@johnbohnenkamp) January 3, 2015
I have nothing positive to say about this. Nothing.