The University of Oregon concluded its investigation of potential free speech policy violations by the athletic department this week. The investigation found that the athletic department did nothing illegal, but could improve its media relations in some areas. President Michael Schill ordered the investigation in December after a highly publicized incident in which Dave Williford, sports information director (SID) for Oregon football, suggested revoking one of the Emerald’s football press credentials. The threat came after Emerald sports editor Kenny Jacoby contacted a UO football player directly to follow up on a previous interview, instead of making another interview request through the athletic department. Jacoby was following up with the player for a story on the repeated accusations of violence against former Oregon tight end Pharaoh Brown, which received national attention. General Counsel Kevin Reed and UO law school student Hailey Czarnecki wrote the report, which found it “undisputed that Williford, with the support of [athletic department spokesman Craig] Pintens, suggested to the Emerald that their credentials could be at risk if they continued to violate protocols,” and that Jacoby “credibly perceived Williford’s statement as a threat to the Emerald’s valuable access to Duck athletics.”-Jack Pitcher, dailyemerald.com– Read More
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