Ole Miss athletic director angry with Memphis paper's Nkemdiche injury photo
Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork isn’t happy with print media, again.
Bjork called out the Memphis Commercial Appeal with a letter to the editor this week, expressing his displeasure with the sports desk’s featured image for Sunday’s front page.
The newpaper’s ‘SMASH HIT’ headline appropriately describes the upset win for Memphis, but the use of a photo showing Robert Nkemdiche on the ground after suffering a concussion on a rushing attempt was too much for Bjork.
Here’s how the letter read:
After careful consideration, I feel compelled to express my disappointment in the way you reported the outcome of the Ole Miss vs. Memphis game, specifically, the way you dramatized a moment that affected a young man’s life with a grossly depicted image (“Smash Hit,” Oct. 18 article). Using an image of a student-athlete knocked out with a concussion is no way to sell newspapers. The discussion around head injuries in sports is widespread, and we strive to be a leader for awareness and safety. In fact, we are hosting the “Neuroscience and Learning: Healing the Injured Brain” conference in Oxford this week. Concussions and head injuries are extremely serious, and it’s unfortunate that you would use your platform to sensationalize them.
Bjork complained last season as well after an Auburn newspaper printed a photo of Laquon Treadwell clutching his ankle after the Tigers beat the Rebels in Oxford.