UT coach says media too harsh on college players

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AUSTIN, Texas (AP) _ With all the hullabaloo resulting from
Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy's post-game blowup at a reporter,
Texas coaches and players were asked if college athletes are
criticized too much in the media.
Coach Mack Brown said he thinks so.
``I think it's wrong. I really do. They're college students,''
Brown said, dismissing the idea that a player who is publicly
praised for scoring a touchdown should also be fair game for
criticism if he fumbles or throws an interception.
Brown has a history of trying to protect players, although
nothing close to Gundy's post-game spectacle that has turned into a
YouTube sensation and been the topic of sports talk shows for a
week.
No Texas player under Brown came under more scrutiny than former
quarterback Chris Simms, and Brown was chided for a post-game
episode when the coach didn't like a question Simms was asked after
a loss to Oklahoma.
Junior wide receiver Quan Cosby, who played professional
baseball and spent several seasons in the minor leagues before
entering college, said criticism is part of big-time athletics.
Cosby said college athletes have to learn to live with the
scrutiny.
``It comes with the territory,'' he said. ``You're playing in
front of 90,000 people and on television. The eyes of Texas are
upon you.''
Brown said relationships between media, coaches and players have
changed over the course of his 33-year coaching career, evolving
from a friendlier tone to a more confrontational one.
``I don't think it will get better,'' Brown said. ``You'll
continue to see athletic departments try to have more privacy and
they'll continue to give people less access.''
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NEW WRINKLE: Texas ran one play against Rice with quarterbacks
Colt McCoy and John Chiles both on the field at the same time.
Offensive coordinator Greg Davis says he's got several plays
designed using both players.
McCoy wouldn't say if that includes him catching a pass. His
teammates, however, have teased him that he needs work at receiver.
``He's got a terrible wide receiver stance,'' receiver Nate
Jones said.
``Oh man,'' McCoy said. ``Tell him that when I first started
throwing to him, his hands weren't that good.''
Jones leads Texas with 29 catches for 285 yards and two
touchdowns.
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LONG LEGGED BAILEY: Kicker Ryan Bailey continues to impress
Brown. A week after tying a school record with five field goals
against Central Florida, Bailey booted a 52-yarder against Rice,
the longest at Texas since Dusty Mangum's 52-yarder against Texas
A&M in 2004.
``That kind of kick changes our thought process. It gives us a
chance to get more points from that point on the field,'' Brown
said. ``There was a little breeze with him, but it could have been
a 60-yard field goal.''
Bailey, a former walk-on who was awarded a scholarship before
the season, is 10 of 12 on field goals.
^___=
FANS GONE WILD: When Kansas State (2-1) beat Texas (4-0) last
year, Wildcats fans stormed the field in a sea of purple. Don't
expect that sort of thing to happen if Texas wins on Saturday.
``We've been there before. Our fans don't storm the field,''
Texas linebacker Scott Derry said. ``I had never seen anything like
that.''
Running back Jamaal Charles said he thought at first he'd be
heckled by K-State fans but quickly realized they were cheering for
their team instead of razzing him.
``I got run over. I got pushed by a couple of people,'' in the
crowd. ``But I didn't want to hit anybody.''
^___=
ENOUGH ALREADY: Senior safety Marcus Griffin got a little testy
this week when reminded of how bad K-State quarterback Josh Freeman
made the Longhorns' secondary look last season.
Freeman passed for 269 yards and three touchdowns against Texas
last season. He also ran for a score.
Asked a second time how tough it is to handle the 6-foot-6,
250-pound passer who can run, Griffin said ``next question.''
^___=
BIG 12 OPENERS: The first game of the Big 12 schedule has
traditionally been kind to Texas. The Longhorns are 9-2 in league
openers and 8-1 under Brown. His only loss? At Kansas State back in
1998.
^___=
CHASING TOUCHDOWN JESUS: As Notre Dame devolves into one of the
worst teams in major college football, the Longhorns are closing in
on the golden domers for the No. 2 spot for all-time wins.
Currently, Notre Dame ranks No. 2 with 821 victories in 119
seasons of football. Texas is third with 814 in 115 seasons. Both
teams have eight games left on their regular-season schedules and
at this rate, figure Texas (4-0) could play 10 more if they get to
the Big 12 title game and a bowl.
^___=
QUOTABLE: ``They try to take advantage of a weak-minded defense
feeling sorry for itself.'' _ Co-defensive coordinator Duane Akina
on Kansas State's use of trick plays after turnovers.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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