This is a weird story. There are also two pieces to it, one being weird-weird and the other being "the hell?"-weird. I generally like layered weird; layered weird is awkward and oddly comfortable. But this is a different kind of weird, which is weird.
WEIRD PIECE ONE: "Don't print that." [Prints that anyway.]
This is kind of on The Collegian, Richmond's student newspaper. I'm not going to sit back in my fancy blogging chair wearing my fancy blogging blazer while puffing on my fancy blogging pipe and critique The Collegian's fairness, but I will write this fact:
- The Collegian had an interview with a member of Richmond's lacrosse team; the interview happened; after the interview the player requested that the information he provided be withdrawn due to a in-house restriction on speaking about the team's elevation to varsity status; The Collegian published that player's quotes anyway.
Regardless of whether you argue that the public's interest in the information trumps the player's decision to rescind his consent, this fact remains: Richmond has put a gag-order in place with respect to speaking about the university's newly-minted varsity program. That leads us to . . .
WEIRD PIECE TWO: ANTI-BUZZ
I understand why Richmond would do this -- there is a truckload of criticism being heaped at the university for cutting men's indoor and outdoor track and soccer -- but this is the Spiders' opportunity to generate momentum and buzz around its team. We're smack in the middle of fall ball; people are writing about lacrosse, finally, after a four-month hiatus. Folks want some juice on where the program plans to go and what's changing within the program to push Richmond ahead for its tentative 2014 launch.
And Richmond is going to squash this all with delineated suppression? That's not public relations; that's unnecessary information repression that forebodes propaganda. Instead, the university is functionally creating anti-buzz. That's dumb. Do more not dumb things, Richmond.