Meet Brian Smith, a senior broadcast journalism major at Texas Christian. He's also a student reporter and had been a regular contributor to "On Campus Cam," a talking heads-style show on The Mtn. where student reporters from conference schools are asked to give their opinions.
On an April 14 broadcast, Smith said that freshman quarterback Casey Pachall, who graduated early from high school to enroll at TCU, is good enough to unseat Andy Dalton as the starter.
"I think it's going to be tough to tell if Andy's really as solid a starter as everybody believes he is," Smith said. "And I think the reason for that is because Casey Pachall, a true freshman who enrolled in January, really looked good during drills and during the Purple and White game, and in my opinion he really could challenge Dalton for that starting spot.
"He can manage a game and he can play not to lose, but I don't really think he's the kind of guy who can win you a game. And Casey Pachall is that kind of guy."
TCU's athletics media relations department heard the comment and decided to ban Smith from using the camera equipment, which is property of the Mountain West Sports Network.
"My office will not take time out of its busy schedule to assist in putting TCU students on the air to make negative comments about our student athletes," director of media relations Mark Cohen, right, wrote in an email to Mountain West officials.
Although the camera belongs to The Mtn., the network has backed down.
"Long story short, they agreed to disagree on the subject matter," producer Frank Ellis said. "But while it is our camera, it is under [Cohen's] supervision and, like I said before, he has the keys to the car. So we're going to abide by his decision."
Smith disagrees. "It's strictly a public relations move and I feel like if that's the direction it wants to go in then they should have someone from their own department ... rather than a reporter doing it. There's a difference between being in media relations and being a reporter."
Cohen said he has done nothing wrong. "All I can tell you is, [Smith] was a student reporter for The Mtn., and that position for The Mtn. runs through the media relations office. We appreciate [Smith's] service but just felt it was time to go in another direction."
Thanks to UWire.