In response, the Clarion-Ledger has decided to pull all coverage of JSU sports from its paper. I could not agree with the people at the Clarion-Ledger more. I don’t know why JSU, specifically interim athletic director Wheeler Brown and interim coach Derrick McCall, think this is a good idea.
It is like JSU wants to hide the fact they are 1-5, and fired its coach Harold Jackson on Oct. 6. But what JSU has actually done is bring much more attention to the floundering program. No one would even care about JSU football outside of their fan and alumni base, if they just faced the media. Now, it has become a national story.
This is an embarrassment to a once proud program, that has won numerous championships, and developed great players, such as Walter Payton, who some say is the greatest football player ever. Win or lose, JSU Tiger football is about standing and facing whatever the results are, like men. And, please, spare me the weak excuse that the Clarion Ledger isn’t being fair.
When things aren’t going well you can’t just run away. You have to face those challenges head on. McCall would go a long ways in making a case for the permanent job by allowing reporters an open space to cover the team. The young men on the team would learn a lot about character and accountability by facing tough questions and scrutiny. Not only that, it will give them an opportunity to voice their feelings on the season, which they should have every right to do. After all, they are the ones going out and playing the game.
Beyond the wins and losses football is supposed to help develop character, courage, and integrity. Trying to hide team failures isn’t teaching the young men on the team to face adversity. This says a lot about not only the football program, but Brown’s leadership of the athletic department.