Wednesday, January 16, 2002

UC bans Post reporter following Huggins flap

By Michael Perry
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The University of Cincinnati has revoked the press credential for Cincinnati Post reporter Jason Williams for two games and banned him from Shoemaker Center until Monday because of a public incident involving coach Bob Huggins Thursday.

        Williams, 26, and Huggins argued in front of several media members and players before the Bearcats' practice.

        The Post can still cover tonight's game against DePaul and Saturday's game against Louisville, UC athletic director Bob Goin said, just not Williams. Goin and Williams met Friday morning.

        “He provoked an incident, a public incident in Shoemaker with Coach Huggins, and he admitted to being the provoker of it,” Goin said Tuesday night. “It was unprofessional, and our decision is to say to him, "You want to be held accountable, you should do it.' It's an unfortunate incident. I think he owes the coach an apology.”

        Said Williams: “I did not admit to being the provoker of it. That's a complete misrepresentation. The argument was between two adults. Nothing personal was said from either side. Let's move on. My editors are handling it.”

        Post sports editor Frank Carini said he respected Goin's decision but disagreed with it, adding, “We are going to fight it.”

        Huggins told a UC spokesman he had no comment, deferring questions to Goin.

        Williams wrote a story that ran in the Jan.8 Post in which he said Huggins “released his frustration when told the (Charlotte) game hadn't been sold out” and quoted the coach as saying: “What the (heck). There's never been a coach here who's been more visible in the community, who's done more things in the community. If they don't want to come, (bleep) 'em. Really. ("Bleep) 'em.”

        On his weekly radio show last Thursday night, Huggins said: “... in no way, shape or form have I ever said or meant anything detrimental to our fans.”

        “I stand by what I write,” Williams said. “It was a hundred percent accurate and fair. I hold myself accountable to the highest of journalistic standards.”

        Goin said the actions taken against Williams “had nothing to do with what was written” and were about only last Thursday's incident.

        “He's welcome back as a professional writer, and we're going to handle it professionally when it's over,” Goin said.


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