UT Coach Says Media Too Harsh On College Players

Thursday, September 27th 2007, 3:17 pm
By: News On 6

AUSTIN (AP) _ With all the hullabaloo resulting from Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy's post-game blowup at a reporter, Texas coaches and players were asked if college athletes are criticized too much in the media.

Coach Mack Brown said he thinks so.

``I think it's wrong. I really do. They're college students,'' Brown said, dismissing the idea that a player who is publicly praised for scoring a touchdown should also be fair game for criticism if he fumbles or throws an interception.

Brown has a history of trying to protect players, although nothing close to Gundy's post-game spectacle that has turned into a YouTube sensation and been the topic of sports talk shows for a week.

No Texas player under Brown came under more scrutiny than former quarterback Chris Simms, and Brown was chided for a post-game episode when the coach didn't like a question Simms was asked after a loss to Oklahoma.

Junior wide receiver Quan Cosby, who played professional baseball and spent several seasons in the minor leagues before entering college, said criticism is part of big-time athletics. Cosby said college athletes have to learn to live with the scrutiny.

``It comes with the territory,'' he said. ``You're playing in front of 90,000 people and on television. The eyes of Texas are upon you.''

Brown said relationships between media, coaches and players have changed over the course of his 33-year coaching career, evolving from a friendlier tone to a more confrontational one.

``I don't think it will get better,'' Brown said. ``You'll continue to see athletic departments try to have more privacy and they'll continue to give people less access.''


NEW WRINKLE: Texas ran one play against Rice with quarterbacks Colt McCoy and John Chiles both on the field at the same time. Offensive coordinator Greg Davis says he's got several plays designed using both players.

McCoy wouldn't say if that includes him catching a pass. His teammates, however, have teased him that he needs work at receiver.

``He's got a terrible wide receiver stance,'' receiver Nate Jones said.

``Oh man,'' McCoy said. ``Tell him that when I first started throwing to him, his hands weren't that good.''

Jones leads Texas with 29 catches for 285 yards and two touchdowns.


LONG LEGGED BAILEY: Kicker Ryan Bailey continues to impress Brown. A week after tying a school record with five field goals against Central Florida, Bailey booted a 52-yarder against Rice, the longest at Texas since Dusty Mangum's 52-yarder against Texas A&M in 2004.

``That kind of kick changes our thought process. It gives us a chance to get more points from that point on the field,'' Brown said. ``There was a little breeze with him, but it could have been a 60-yard field goal.''

Bailey, a former walk-on who was awarded a scholarship before the season, is 10 of 12 on field goals.


FANS GONE WILD: When Kansas State (2-1) beat Texas (4-0) last year, Wildcats fans stormed the field in a sea of purple. Don't expect that sort of thing to happen if Texas wins on Saturday.

``We've been there before. Our fans don't storm the field,'' Texas linebacker Scott Derry said. ``I had never seen anything like that.''

Running back Jamaal Charles said he thought at first he'd be heckled by K-State fans but quickly realized they were cheering for their team instead of razzing him.

``I got run over. I got pushed by a couple of people,'' in the crowd. ``But I didn't want to hit anybody.''


ENOUGH ALREADY: Senior safety Marcus Griffin got a little testy this week when reminded of how bad K-State quarterback Josh Freeman made the Longhorns' secondary look last season.

Freeman passed for 269 yards and three touchdowns against Texas last season. He also ran for a score.

Asked a second time how tough it is to handle the 6-foot-6, 250-pound passer who can run, Griffin said ``next question.''


BIG 12 OPENERS: The first game of the Big 12 schedule has traditionally been kind to Texas. The Longhorns are 9-2 in league openers and 8-1 under Brown. His only loss? At Kansas State back in 1998.


CHASING TOUCHDOWN JESUS: As Notre Dame devolves into one of the worst teams in major college football, the Longhorns are closing in on the golden domers for the No. 2 spot for all-time wins.

Currently, Notre Dame ranks No. 2 with 821 victories in 119 seasons of football. Texas is third with 814 in 115 seasons. Both teams have eight games left on their regular-season schedules and at this rate, figure Texas (4-0) could play 10 more if they get to the Big 12 title game and a bowl.