Coach cuts off media access to players

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    TCU men’s basketball coach Neil Dougherty has temporarily suspended player availability to the media following Saturday’s 75-49 loss to Air Force. Dougherty said player-media relations will be re-evaluated after tonight’s game against San Diego State.”They’ve gone through a lot,” Dougherty said. “It’s not that they’ve been shut off, but as a coach, sometimes I feel the need to protect my players.”

    Kristie Le, associate director of media relations, said that although the decision was ultimately Dougherty’s, players were ambivalent enough Saturday about speaking to the media that Dougherty chose to let several days pass before they could be made available for comment again.

    Dougherty said he hopes the suspension will be short, but he cannot promise Wednesday’s game will bring it to an end.

    “I don’t want it to last long,” Dougherty said. “The sooner the better, maybe after we get our next win.”

    Dougherty said some media outlets have alienated players by “asking stupid questions,” and he feels compelled to handle all responses to the media regarding the team’s poor play. Dougherty said the current suspension is not about personal feeling of negativity.

    “I’ve said it since day one,” Dougherty said. “I will always work with the media and always try and help. But I have to try and help the kids a little bit, too.