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UO Athletic Department Free Speech Dispute

According to the website corpcounsel.com, "The University of Oregon has asked its general counsel, Kevin Reed, to look into whether the school's athletic department is violating university free-speech policies by allegedly threatening to pull the credentials of reporters who try to speak directly with student athletes."

Corporate Counsel, a publication that specializes in "addressing the needs of the nation’s in-house attorneys and executives," writes that the issue arose when the Daily Emerald reported  three incidents of violence over two years allegedly committed by Duck football tight end Pharaoh Brown.

According to a Nov. 28 Emerald story about the UO Senate calling for an investigation of athletic department for possible free speech violation, the Emerald reporter, Kenny Jacoby "had called kicker Matt Wogan for comment, following a prearranged interview in which Wogan declined to speak on the issue. The department’s policy states that all requests for interviews with players must go through the athletic department, and by calling a player directly, the Emerald knowingly violated that policy."

Corporate Counsel reports that "asked about an investigation, Reed confirmed that university president Michael Schill asked him 'to conduct a review. I wouldn't describe it as an investigation. I understand my brief is to report to the president regarding whether our rules governing the rights of speech of our student athletes and the rights of access of the press to our student athletes are consistent with university policy, law and best practices.' He said he expects to report back 'sometime after the first of the year.'"