Bears Violate NFL Media Rules, Smith at Fault

Marco ScolaContributor IIINovember 4, 2009

ATLANTA - OCTOBER 18:  Head coach Lovie Smith of the Chicago Bears against the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on October 18, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

It was a  very peculiar site today at Halas Hall. Reporters filed in to the cramped interview room and awaited either a player or coach, much like any other Media Wednesday in Lake Forest.

Minutes, and eventually hours went by without a single player to come or leave the media room. As scheduled, media members then filed into the Halas Hall locker rooms to talk with other players, but found a vacant setting.

Finally, the reporters were informed that Bears coach Lovie Smith prevented any of his team members from speaking with the media, violating NFL rules.

Quarterback Jay Cutler was scheduled to meet with the media at 12 p.m. on Wednesday followed by a 45-minute open locker-room media session. Neither Cutler nor any player appeared in the locker room or at the podium.

Furthermore, during a (not live) television interview by Jeff Joniak with Smith on Tuesday night, according to Joniak, Smith went "ballistic," asking crew members to turn of the cameras, and to stop the interview immediately.

Joniak says, "he went ballistic after I politely asked him off the record 'what's wrong with the team.'"

Media members are filing a complaint to the NFL according to a source because, by rule, no staff on any team can prevent players or coaches from attending to the media. At least one player or coach is required to meet with the media during scheduled times.

It seems to me that this latest hitch in a disappointing season could be another reason for Lovie Smith to be let go following the 2009 NFL season.