Kirby Smart bans media from reporting injuries without his permission
In a move that has received some eye-rolling from those in the media, Georgia head coach Kirby Smart is silencing the media when it comes to breaking injury news.
Beginning today, injuries — non-contact jerseys and injuries seen in front of media — can't be reported until Kirby Smart is asked.
— Jason Butt (@JasonHButt) April 18, 2017
The news went over as well as you could have expected on Twitter:
The funny thing is even if he doesn't want it out there, once he's asked in a press conference, it's out there. Poor, paranoid Kirby. https://t.co/g53vGLhVhX
— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_SEC) April 18, 2017
Incredible. For the record, this has never been how it works at Alabama under Saban. This one's a Kirby original. https://t.co/sIGqxweCHS
— Matt Scalici (@MattScalici) April 18, 2017
Oh come on… https://t.co/r9bc7f1dCO
— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) April 18, 2017
Georgia football was one of the top media-friendly programs under Richt. B/c fans view correlation as causation, Kirby can do what he wants
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) April 18, 2017
One Georgia media member did stand up for the head coach, however:
@DanWolken We had Kirby on today and learned more in one interview than in 5 under Richt who rarely said anything!
— John Kincade (@JohnKincade) April 18, 2017
The reason for the ban likely stems from reports regarding a practice injury to freshman defensive back Deangelo Gibbs last week. Smart expressed his frustration with the fact that word got out before he had a chance to respond to the news.
Here’s what Smart had to say immediately after practice last Thursday when asked about Gibbs’ status.
“Well, considering I haven’t had a lot of time to talk to the trainers, but it’s nice to know you guys have found it in your hearts to go ahead and report it,” Smart mockingly said during his April 13 press conference. “His mom has to find out from you guys rather than from us, which upsets me a little bit to be honest with you. I don’t think it’s really fair.”
This move could potentially be a measure to protect families from hearing about their relative’s injuries live on Twitter, but many reporters are not buying it.
When coupled with new legislation deemed “Kirby’s Law,” which greatly increases the wait time for responses to the Freedom of Information Act, this seems to be part of a greater trend.
It’s no secret that many football coaches hate dealing with the media, but Smart has been among the most aggressive in college football in limiting their access during his short tenure in Athens.