Mar 2, 2010, 5:00 PM EDT
If you were on the campus of Texas A&M-Commerce last week looking for a copy of the student newspaper, well, no soup for you. It seems that members of the football team stole them all. Look at this sad, empty news rack. The ones on the bottom are a week old! (Cries). The thefts occurred because the jocks didn’t like what the nerds wrote about them in the lead article: Detailing the arrest of two A&M-Commerce football players in a drug bust. It’s a logical thing: If you don’t like what’s written about you, steal all copies of the paper. But here’s the best part: When asked about the thefts, A&M-Commerce head football coach Guy Morriss said:
“I am proud of my players for doing that. This was the best team building exercise we have ever done.”
Now we have a controversy, folks.
From the East Texan:
President Dan Jones said he met with Morris a few days later on Mar. 1. During the meeting, Jones said he and Morriss discussed disciplinary actions for the football players involved. Morriss said he would not make any apologies for the team, and they would suffer the consequences as a team, since the team committed the action.
Bone said he met with Athletic Director Carlton Cooper about the thefts. Cooper said he did not think the players involved could have planned the theft.
“I don’t think they are smart enough to do this on their own,” Cooper said.
Ha. Another hilarious excerpt from the story:
On Feb. 26, Bone said he was asked by Assistant Chief of the University Police Department Bryan Vaughn to come to his office. When he arrived, Bone said he saw Morriss in Vaughn’s office. Bone asked Morris if he had seen the most recent issue of the paper. Morris replied with negative comments regarding The East Texan.
“I don’t read that crap,” he said.
Bone said he then showed Morriss the top headline on the front page of the edition, which read, “Football players arrested in drug bust.” To this Morriss responded he did not pay any attention to that crap. Morriss then asked for clarification on how taking a free paper was considered theft.
Attorney Advocate for the Student Press Law Center Adam Goldstein said the actions taken by members of the football team are illegal. He said he did not think it would be a legal violation if they had a legitimate purpose for taking more than one.
“I think the problem comes when they try to take so many that it interferes with the basic purpose for why a newspaper exists,” he said. “Publications can limit it to one. Certainly one is a rational number.”
Bone said he told Morriss inside the paper there is a statement explaining that the first issue is free, but every issue after that costs 25 cents. Morriss said he was not in agreement with the policy stated in The East Texan.
“I guess I will be the first one out of the door in handcuffs then,” Morriss said.
Because you see kids, lashing out at the press for your misdeeds is now the American way. A free press is not important as long as your Div. II football team feels that they are bonding. It’s important to handle things like this the way that Stalin or Goebbels would.
One other thing I should point out: The East Texan rakes in dozens of journalism awards annually, and in 2006 was named the best small collegiate weekly newspaper in Texas by the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association. Last season the football team was 5-5 overall, including a 41-7 loss to Southeastern Louisiana.
Perhaps, Mr. Morriss, instead of stealing the papers, your players should be reading them for tips on how to succeed.
Football Coach Proud That His Players Stole Newspapers [AOL Fanhouse]
Morriss: ‘I’m proud of my players for doing that’ [The East Texan]
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