In August, USC promised to punish any journalist who passed on strategy or injury-related news garnered via the football practice sidelines. This week, they have put their money where their pigskin is. Or have they?
Per a report in the LA Times, Daily News sportswriter Scott Wolf has been barred from two weeks’ worth of Trojans practices and a September 22 home game for reporting that place kicker Andre Heidari (pictured) underwent surgery last week. Even though Wolf’s report does not cite a practice source:
“From our standpoint, Scott was doing his job,” Los Angeles Newspaper Group sports editor Gene Warnick said. “This wasn’t something that was part of practice. We were just trying to report the news.” A USC athletic department spokesperson declined to comment.
The reason Wolf is not banned from this weekend’s game against Stanford is that it is an away match, and as such, USC cannot control who their opponents let into the Palo Alto press box.
Perhaps USC has proof that Wolf did indeed suss out the Heidari development in conversation at a pratice. If so, the university’s Athletics department should make a statement to that effect.
*Update – 09/13/12: As expected, USC has rescinded the ban. Wolf shared the news last night via Twitter:
[Photo of Heidari courtesy USC]