According to a tweet from LA Times college football columnist Chris Foster, the paper has decided upon a new policy of no longer attending USC or UCLA practices:
The new policy comes on the heels of USC and UCLA choosing to no longer discuss injuries as well as several tiffs between media members and the head coaches of both programs. USC suspended a reporter the week leading up the Stanford game (before reversing the ban) and then Lane Kiffin exited a media scrum after only one question last week.
Yesterday, three local newspaper beat writers of the OC Register, LA Times and Daily News chose not to enter and attend USC's practice. Instead, at least two of the reporters simply reported what they saw from outside of the gates, including this injury update from the OC Register's Michael Lev:
#USC OLB Hayes Pullard had a sling on his left arm after Saturday's game. Did not have one going to and leaving practice field today.— Michael Lev (@LevOnUSC) September 25, 2012
Lev tweeted Wednesday morning that the reasoning for not entering practice was "Idea is that it compromises journalistic integrity to see news but not report it."
Not to be outdone, UCLA head coach Jim Mora tossed the media and UCLA sports information staff out of the Bruins' practice this morning, according to Foster:
#UCLA Coach Jim Mora just threw the media out of practice. The flash point is beleived to be an ESPN camera crew.— chris foster (@cfosterlatimes) September 26, 2012
The Times new policy means that USC fans will not receive practice quotes and updates from Gary Klein, one of the most respected beat writers in college football. However, that may actually mean more information as he will no longer be subjected to USC's new practice policy of not reporting on injuries and strategy.
It will be interesting to see if the other two local newspapers follow the Times lead and if the online media stands with the print or there becomes a divide.
This is more likely just another step closer to closed practices at USC and UCLA, which formerly had been two of the most open athletic departments in the nation. Previously, both programs even had an open locker room policy for the media after games -- which I've been told only one other BCS school in the nation had such a policy.