The Opelika-Auburn News published this photo on the cover of their sports section last Sunday after Auburn beat Ole Miss...
Like a lot of people, Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork was very disappointed in the newspaper's decision to run that photo of Rebels WR Laquon Treadwell suffering a devastating injury at the end of the game. So he wrote them a letter and the Opelika-Auburn News published it...
After careful thought and consideration, I feel compelled to express my disappointment in the way you reported the outcome of the Auburn vs. Ole Miss game. Specifically, the way you sensationalized a moment with a grossly depicted image that affects a young man’s life. Furthermore, your response to criticism from readers could be described as nothing short of digging your heels in. Quite simply and most disappointing, you showed no signs of remorse for the incredible lapse of judgment.
We run our athletics department with a well-defined purpose, and we operate daily using seven core values to guide us. Together, those core values comprise our “line in the sand,” and we will defend them when attacked. It is our belief that your actions are at odds with those of those core values: Student-Athlete Welfare and Social Responsibility. So, it is for that reason that I have written to you.
In closing, we know of no other newspaper that has used such a graphic image of a student-athlete’s injury in such a sensationalist way and sincerely hope you have not created a precedent for this type of crass journalism.
Director of Athletics
University of Mississippi