The Clarion-Ledger newspaper of Jackson, Miss., will not be covering the Jackson State athletics programs until the school allows media to have full access to the football team, the paper announced in an editorial Monday.
According to the Clarion-Ledger, Jackson State has not given the media access to players or assistant coaches since former head coach Harold Jackson was fired on Oct. 6. Interim coach Derrick McCall is the only member of the football program authorized to speak to the media.
“This kind of restriction keeps a reporter from properly doing his or her job,” sports editor David Bean said. “Our hope is that this situation will be rectified promptly, and we are able to continue covering the Jackson State football team as it should be covered.”
Jackson State released a response to the Clarion-Ledger’s actions, posted on the paper’s website:
“The decision to close football practice and to not make assistant coaches and players available to the media throughout the week was not undertaken lightly and is done in respect to the JSU football program, the coaches, players and to local and regional media outlets.
“JSU football practice has been closed since the first week of this season. We decided to not make assistant coaches and players available to the media for the last two weeks so that the team can adjust to and work with the new coach on putting a quality product on the field — without too many outside influences.”
Jackson State beat reporter Antonio Morales has been reassigned to different areas of coverage, including Jackson State’s rival SWAC schools.