The paragraph in the Northern Iowa weekly game notes in advance of the NDSU quarterfinal game on Saturday made me laugh: “All interview requests can be made through UNI Athletic Communications 24 hours in advance.”
Well, you can always request but I guess it doesn’t say that all requests will be granted. It’s like that Seinfeld episode when Jerry rents a car. “You can take the reservation but you just don’t know how to hold the reservation.”It’s just how UNI rolls with media relations in football. I’ve requested players a few times over the years and the last time was met with the following response: Coach Farley does not allow his players to talk with “opposing” media. I guess that was to mean only Cedar Falls-area media were allowed to talk to Panther players? Apparently, anybody who writes for a newspaper outside of Cedar Falls is out for bulletin board material? I don’t know, you tell me.
Anyway, in doing a story on UNI quarterback Aaron Bailey, I made another attempt this week although I was 95 percent sure of what the response was going to be. And this is what it was: “Doesn’t look like Aaron is going to be available this week. ” It’s too bad because Bailey is a great story, a transfer from Illinois who must be having the time of his football career being the guy under center after being a highly-sought high school star. No, I wasn’t going to ask him for the game plan against NDSU.
Ironically, NDSU quarterback Carson Wentz wasn’t available this week either and perhaps it was because he didn’t want to take any questions on whether he was going to play this week. Wentz has been very good with his time with us over the last couple of years, so this was unusual. Is this a sign he’s actually ready to play? In this case, Wentz wasn’t available to anybody. In UNI’s case, it apparently picks and chooses. In 31 years in this business, I’ve never seen anything like it.