Why can’t NDSU President Dean Bresciani shoot straight?
As the State Board of Higher Education begins the process of a formal inquiry into Bresciani’s handling of controversy around absurd media restrictions instituted by the schools athletics department, the president tells my colleague Mike McFeely that the school still might institute them.
You can listen to the audio of Bresciani and McFeely below. Here’s how McFeely describes it:
One of the more interesting answers the president gave was when I asked whether the media access rules would stay the same for the length of the current broadcast contracts. He didn’t say they would, instead hedging and saying, “It’s hard to dive into predicting what four years from now how it might be.”
So could NDSU try to implement the more restrictive rules after a more thorough vetting process? Maybe.
This is pretty remarkable, because this is what Bresciani said when he announced that the university would be rescinding the media restrictions last week.
“I was profoundly disappointed when I learned the facts about this issue,” Bresciani said in a news release. “This is not the way NDSU treats local journalists and our many loyal fans who value the breadth of news coverage NDSU enjoys. As the state’s land grant university, our commitment is to access and inclusion in all endeavors.”
Athletic Director Matt Larsen also apologized in the release: “I erred in not bringing these ideas forward for the president’s review, and I regret the damage this has caused to the administration, institution and university community.”
Remember that in the days before Bresciani announced his “profound disappointment” in these media policies he was, via email and text message, mocking critics of the policies while expressing his support for them to Larsen and others. He was even giving Larsen advice on how to “spin” the media on the policies.
Now he won’t rule out NDSU instituting these restrictions in the future.
So, to review for those of you keeping score at home:
- Bresciani expresses his support for media restrictions and the members of his staff instituting them in emails and texts dated July 29 – August 1.
- On Tuesday, August 2, Bresciani announces that he’s rescinding the restrictions. He expresses disappointment in his staff for instituting them. He says he’s “profoundly disappointed” in the policies and says the restrictions are “not the way NDSU treats local journalists.”
- On August 12 Bresciani says NDSU might institute the restrictions in the future, meaning I guess the restrictions maybe are the way NDSU treats local journalists?
This isn’t the first time Bresciani has floated this particular talking point, by the way. He first went down this road a few days ago when he said the problem with the media restrictions weren’t the restrictions themselves but rather the process by which they were instituted:
NDSU announced the media rules July 29. And Bresciani rescinded them Aug. 2, with NDSU issuing a statement that said he was “profoundly disappointed when I learned the facts about this issue.”
In his Tuesday email to employees, he explained what he meant by this comment. “It appears that this comment has been interpreted to mean that I was disappointed in the new guidelines, when in fact, I was disappointed in the process,” he wrote. …
It’s not clear whether Bresciani would have kept the rules in place had the process been to his liking. “The issue became moot when he learned of the process errors. There has not been discussion on this yet,” Rudolph said.
So even after everything that has happened, NDSU may still yet try and implement the media restrictions which were the source of the original controversy.
You really have to marvel that the arrogance on display here.
Bresciani says and does completely contradictory things, and then just expects us all to swallow it, relying I guess on his loyalists and NDSU’s rabid football fans to shout down any criticism.
How about we get rid of this guy and hire someone for NDSU who can, at the very least, isn’t going to the constantly stumbling over his own misleading and untruthful statements.
Here’s the audio: