The Miami Herald reports today that FIU will credential the paper's beat writer, David J. Neal, for the rest of the season—less than a week after the same university refused to credential Neal for the team's home opener.
Last week, FIU issued a statement saying it had "concerns" about Neal's "interactions" with the athletes and coaches as well as the resulting coverage. So what changed? Where did those "concerns" go? The Herald report doesn't include quotes from FIU officials but has this from the paper's executive editor: "The FIU sports program is an important part of our coverage," said Miami Herald Executive Editor Aminda Marqués Gonzalez. "We're glad we were able to reach a quick resolution."
The report also notes that the Herald reviewed Neal's coverage and "found it to be fair and professional."
(Full disclosure: I worked for the Herald for seven and a half years on the news desk, not in sports.)
So what caused this FIU change of heart? Was it the Herald's review? More than likely, it was waking up Sunday morning and realizing that—without the local paper—their media coverage in a region packed with strong college football teams was pretty close to zero. What good is a football team nobody covers? Chances are, FIU didn't want to find out.
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