The head of the University of Kentucky's basketball media relations department banned the university's student newspaper from Tuesday's media interviews with the team.
DeWayne Peevy, UK's associate athletics director for media relations, rescinded an invitation to the Kernel's basketball writer for the interviews after learning that he had contacted two students rumored to be walk-ons this fall on the basketball team. The reporter, Peevy said, broke the university's unwritten policy barring media from interviewing student-athletes without first going through UK's media relations teams.
The decision to ban the writer "is so clearly a violation of First Amendment rights for the university to condition access on gathering or publishing information the way the university wants you to do it," said Kentucky First Amendment lawyer Jon Fleischaker.
The dispute began when Kernel sportswriter and managing editor Aaron Smith found the phone numbers in UK's student directory for walk-ons Brian Long and Sam Malone after seeing them named in a post on Kentuckysportsradio.com and mentioned in a Twitter post by UK freshman basketball player Anthony Davis. UK basketball coach John Calipari has since posted on Twitter that the two are indeed walk-ons.
"He only asked the question, 'Are you a walk-on on the basketball team?'" Kernel editor in chief Taylor Moak said. "They said yes. He said, 'Would you be willing to talk now or later today?,' and they said no."
Read the complete story at kentucky.com