This is the exact reverse of the Steve Spurrier/The State kerfluffle that saw the newspaper bowing to the coach's wishes and taking a critical reporter off the beat. But where in the world does a local newspaper have more power than the football team? The SWAC, obviously.
It started last week, when Southern University linebacker Anthony Balancier trash-talked upcoming opponent Northwestern State.
When asked what he said, Balancier repeated that NSU was “horrible.” Horrible, as in they stink, the reporter asked? “Yeah, you could say that,” Balancier answered.
Northwestern State coaches showed the clip of the interview to players, and posted the comments outside of the locker room. "A little motivation," one player called it. Northwestern State walloped the Jaguars, 55-14.
Southern naturally blamed the media instead of its own crappy team, and declared that players would be off-limits to reporters except in very controlled situations. In response, The (Baton Rouge) Advocate published a special note to its readers:
Southern has chosen to limit access of its football team to three players until at least Oct. 5.
Because of this policy, The Advocate will provide only minimal coverage of Southern’s football team.
Even if it's a bit of dick-waving on the part of The Advocate (it wouldn't dare try something similar with its LSU coverage), it's a nice antidote to the cowardice of The State's publisher, and a reminder that many schools need the press more than the press needs them.