Tempers flared among Knoxville’s sports media during departing Coach Lane Kiffen’s last press conference. Kiffen wanted a brief statement on camera, then he wanted all the cameras turned off for the rest of the press conference. When Bud Ford, media relations director, laid down the rules, WBIR News Director Bill Shory objected, insisting that the entire press conference be with television cameras on. Ford said Kiffin would not stay around for questioning if the cameras were on.
This angered print and radio reporters who wanted more time with Kiffin for their stories, and harsh words were exchanged. A debate ensued for some time, with some reporters feeling Shory was merely trying for competitive advantage by having the session live on-air. Shory contended that he had a right to film the press conference and UT should not be allowed to shut them off. Reporters argued that nothing was off the record, just off camera. Watch the kerfuffle on YouTube at “Lane Kiffin Quits” and pick your side.
During the argument, an exasperated Ford reminded Shory: “You’re in our building.”
Note to Ford: We believe the building is provided by the state of Tennessee, its taxpayers, UT donors, and fans. You’re just getting to use it, Bud.