It was only a matter of time before other coaches were asked about the bombshell reports that described a toxic culture at Maryland but the award for one of the more tone-deaf statements in the wake of serious allegations stemming from a player’s depth appears to come from South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp on Saturday.
For some background, Terps head coach D.J. Durkin coached as defensive coordinator under Muschamp while the two were at Florida and have known each other for several years. While it’s understandable that the Gamecocks head coach would want to defend his friend in the wake of such reports, Muschamp instead preferred to rant and take what amounts to the “fake news” route by questioning the entire set of ESPN reporting for using anonymous sources — a common industry-wide practice to protect those who might be harmed for telling the truth.
“He worked for me for four years at the University of Florida,” Muschamp said, according to The State. “He is an outstanding football coach, but he’s also an outstanding husband and father and he treats people with respect.
“There is no credibility in anonymous sources. If that former staffer had any guts, why didn’t he put his name on that? I think that’s gutless. In any football team, especially right here in August, you can find a disgruntled player that’s probably not playing. I think it’s a lack of journalistic integrity to print things with anonymous sources. I know DJ Durkin personally. I know what kind of man he is. I know what kind of person he is. I don’t think it’s right.”
Muschamp particularly seems to take issue with a former Maryland staffer saying he would “never, ever, ever allow his kids to be coached” in the program. Several current and former players were also granted anonymity to discuss the workout in question that led to the tragic death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair in June.
While the “other USC” probably has a more widely known program for journalism, Muschamp might want to walk down to his own school’s department of Journalism and Mass Communications to get their view on anonymous sourcing in cases like this instead of taking what is currently an oft-used presidential tact and calling out the news media.