Randy Smith: Calling Out The Media

Thursday, July 19, 2018 - by Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Randy Smith
Since I have been a member of the Sports Media for close to a half-century, I feel obligated to call them out when I see or hear something wrong. That was the case yesterday as Tennessee's Jeremy Pruitt took the podium at the SEC Media Days in Atlanta. It seems that former Georgia players Aaron Murray and David Pollack accused Pruitt of being disrespectful to former Georgia coach Mark Richt when Pruitt was the Bulldog's defensive coordinator. They each called Pruitt , "hard to get along with. " The members of the media present at the SEC Media Days took the story and ran with it as if this was the biggest news of the day. This was such a non-story.

Now I know that some fans wanted to hear details of the story and that's to be expected but it wasn't an earth shattering piece of information.
For instance, Murray was an offensive player at Georgia, playing quarterback for the Bulldogs. I would imagine his access to Coach Pruitt was rather limited, and David Pollack wasn't even there when Pruitt was in Athens. He was obviously getting second-hand information. In addition, Pruitt's most recent head coach, Alabama's Nick Saban said he had no knowledge of Pruitt being anything other than professional in doing his job while being the defensive coordinator at Alabama. 

I get it when it comes to defending Mark Richt. I agree with others that Coach Richt is one of the really nice guys in college football. I always enjoyed interviewing him at the SEC Media Days and he is a definite class act. Any altercations he may have had with Jeremy Pruitt should have stayed in the locker room where it may or may not have happened.

When asked about his dealings with Coach Richt, Pruitt politely declined to dignify the question. He wanted to talk about his team, his first head coaching job or his opponents this fall in the SEC. That's the kind of information that most fans really want to hear about. Young reporters today sometimes fail to think things through very well. A lot of them believe in sensationalism, which is defined as, " the use of exciting or shocking stories or language at the expense of accuracy, in order to provoke public interest or excitement. " It's not " fake news," it's no-news. 

247sports called the Pruitt-Richt saga a, "silly storyline." The story was born on Nashville radio station, 102.5, The Game as Aaron Murray was interviewed about Pruitt becoming a first-time head coach at Tennessee. Murray said he "wasn't sure that Pruitt's personality was fit to be a head coach."  That's all it took for some members of the sports media to pile on and run with it. 
I know Tennessee fans have been disappointed in Pruitt's inability to work with the media, but maybe it's because of what they had for the previous four years. Butch Jones and his many tired cliches, like " Champions of life " or " Brick by Brick."  Pruitt's grammar and his careless use of the English language has also caused a few folks to cover their ears when he speaks, but I know that all of them are giving him the benefit of the doubt. In other words, they'll wait before passing judgement.  

We now have 43 days until the Vols open their season and  I'm sure that 100% of the Big Orange fan base would prefer a few more wins and a few less cliches.  

-----

Randy Smith can be reached at rsmithsports@epbfi.com


PREP SCHEDULES

FOOTBALL   FRIDAY, OCTOBER 26 Baylor at MBA CAK at Boyd-Buchanan Maryville at Bradley McMinn Central at Brainerd Tyner at Central Chattanooga Christian at Grace Christian McMinn Co. at Cleveland Cloudland at Copper Basin Howard at East Hamilton Hixson at East Ridge Middle Tennessee Christian at Grace ... (click for more)

Dalton State Lady Roadrunners Compete At The Sand Shark Invitational

The Lady Roadrunners Cross Country team ran against 41 other schools on Saturday in the Sand Shark Invitational in Hardeeville, South Carolina. Running with four Roadrunners on the sidelines, the ladies were still fast enough to finish 17th. It was a warm, humid morning when they toed the crowded starting line with 290 runners in the field.    When the sand had settled, ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Police Investigating Shooting That Victim Says Happened A Week Ago

Chattanooga Police responded to a local hospital on Friday evening after a person arrived with a gunshot wound.   The injured man told police he was shot on Thursday, Oct. 11. He said he was shot while on the dance floor of a club somewhere along Brainerd Road.   If you have any information about the incident, call Chattanooga Police at 423-698-2525. You ... (click for more)

Corker Doubtful On Latest Saudi Version Of Death Of Writer At Consulate In Istanbul

Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, on Friday expressed doubt about Saudi Arabia’s claims regarding the death of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and columnist for The Washington Post. He said, “The story the Saudis have told about Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance continues to change with each passing day, so we should not assume their ... (click for more)

Rhonda Thurman Was On Target On The Magnet Schools

I can remember Rhonda Thurman telling the other members of the School Board that she would love to go to Las Vegas with certain parents that won the right to go to a Magnet School because they beat all odds.  She also called Magnet Schools"Private Schools" long before anyone else did.  It is truly amazing what some people won't or don't hear.  I hope some ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Who Do You Trust?

About this time last month a 25-year-old kid with a fresh degree in “public policy” left me a phone call hoping to get my views. Joda Thongnopnua is the Democratic candidate for the State House in District 30 and he is like a load of other erstwhile politicians in my experience who I’ve never heard of but “really want to meet me” … this with less than a month before they “really” ... (click for more)