University of Kansas Athletics warns student reporter about asking questions

University Daily Kansan sports reporter Blake Schuster says he was warned Tuesday by University of Kansas football communications director Katy Lonergan about asking questions at the weekly football press conference.

The reason: Coach Charlie Weis and his team are still miffed about last week’s newspaper cover art and story.

The Kansan notes:

Schuster did not ask questions during the conference.

Lonergan said she did not tell Schuster to refrain from asking questions.

“I just simply advised him that if he did ask questions, he should be prepared for any kind of tone in his answer,” she said.

The Big Lead points out that “Weis pulled a similar stunt with two South Bend Tribune reporters at Notre Dame in 2006.”

I wasn’t able to reach Lonergan by phone this afternoon, but she did talk to Sports Radio 810 host Kevin Kietzman off the air and told him: “Coach Weis has been very patient with [the student reporter]. Other KU coaches I know would have obliterated him and humiliated him for asking dumb questions.”

Lonergan and Schuster

Kietzman says he talked to Lonergan for 17 minutes. “She made one great decision” he adds. “She made a great decision in not coming on the air. She made a poor decision in saying I’ll talk to you on the record, because she couldn’t stop talking. And the farther she got into this thing, the weirder the conversation got as to why” the student reporter was warned about asking questions at the press conference. (Listen to Kietzman’s report here.)

Kietzman continues:

To me there really aren’t bad questions. …If you’re asking what the coach perceives to be dumb questions, and this is what’s happening with pulling this kid aside — I call him a kid; he’s a young man — I’ve got a problem with this, and I don’t for the life of me understand why Charlie Weis doesn’t have bigger fish to fry than this. Why is he bothered with the student paper?…

I think Charlie Weis and his staff are bullying a student, and I think that’s just as wrong and low as it gets.

Kansan editor-in-chief Ian Cummings tells me: “We will probably look at rotating Schuster off of that beat if this continues to be a story. For today, we’re looking to see if this has run its course.” || A later email: “We will not take him off of football. His work has been totally satisfactory, and I expect he’ll remain right where he is.”

* Kansan reporter told not to ask questions at press conference (
* Sports Radio 810 Kevin Kietzman’s commentary on Weis and the student paper
* Earlier: Weis tweets angrily about Kansan cover story and art (