Student reporter Brian Smith from TCU is no longer allowed to use camera equipment owned by the Mountain West Sports Network to appear on the channel after he made what the university's Athletics Media Relations department considered to be a critical comment about Frogs' starting quarterback Andy Dalton on the network.
The Mountain West Sports Network has cameras set up at local universities to allow local media to be on the station without having to have them travel to the Denver studios or for The Mtn. to have a reporter at each school. The show that Smith was on was "On Campus Cam" where the remarks were made, and regularly has student reporters to get varied opinions about each school.
Brian Smith is a Senior broadcast journalism major and the controversy started after Smith appeared on the April 14 broadcast of "On Campus Cam," a talking-heads style show on The Mtn. where student reporters from conference schools are asked to give their thoughts.
During the broadcast, Smith said that Casey Pachall, the freshman quarterback who graduated early from high school to enroll at the university is good. Good enough, he said, to unseat Dalton as the starter.
Smith's expulsion comes from him criticizing current starting quarterback Andy Dalton and made these remarks:
"I think it's going to be tough to tell if Andy's really as solid a starter as everybody believes he is, "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 [Dalton] 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.
Smith does have some legitimacy for his criticism, because Andy Dalton has done well there have been times where it does seem that he does not have that killer instinct. Also, Casey Pachall is a four star recruit by Rivals who had offers by many big name schools.
Cleary Casey Pachell is a highly regarded high school recruit who's final schools came down between Florida and TCU. This was a huge get for TCU, and what was better was that Pachell was able to enroll early to get into the system.
The real issue is with Mark Cohen, director of athletic media relations, who sent an e-mail to the network notifying it of the decision to remove. In the e-mail, Cohen wrote that he did not want Smith appearing on The Mtn. anymore if he was going to be critical of Dalton.
"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."
What is TCU trying to do? This exposure of this is more then they would get in any football offseason. Everyone knows the backup quarterback is the most popular, and Smith may not really believe what he said about Pachell starting next year but he will challenge Andy Dalton.
This is a student reporter who was just stirring things up, and what should he have said? Casey Pachell might start in the upcoming years and Dalton is great!
Mark Cohen seems to be a power hungry person who probably did not like to take the few minutes of his day to unlock a door. The Mtn. however did not like this decision:
"Long story short, they agreed to disagree on the subject matter," 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 said he doesn't agree with the decision.
"I don't think it's fair to the viewers," Smith said. "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."