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Paul Petrino responds to situation regarding treatment of media

Idaho football coach Paul Petrino and athletic director Rob Spear responded today to a column written by the Moscow-Pullman Daily News detailing Petrino's conduct following Wednesday's practice. 

The gist of the response centered around Dugar's claim that Petrino had to be physically restrained from the two reporters by a graduate assistant. 

From Michael-Shawn Dugar of the Moscow-Pullman Daily News

"But moments later, Petrino walked up to me and the Tribune reporter just outside the practice field and began to scream in my face, loudly informing us how many deep balls the team completed Wednesday. He then went on to chide us for our inaccurate criticisms of quarterback Matt Linehan and our lack of football knowledge, walking away saying, 'You don't even know what the (expletive) you're talking about! Do your (expletive) job!'"

Dugar continued: "Then he turned back and started to move toward me, still angrily shouting expletives about my writing and my professionalism while being physically restrained by one of his assistants, approaching me as if he had plans to do something other than verbally express his concerns."

Petrino was upset about something Dugar and the Lewiston Tribune journalist, Theo Lawson, wrote regarding quarterback Matt Linehan's performance while throwing certain drills during Tuesday's practice. 

"Today the Moscow-Pullman Daily News published an article stating that I had to be 'physically restrained' from one of their reporters, and insinuated that I intended to physically harm him," Petrino said in a prepared statement. "This is not an accurate account of what happened after yesterday’s practice.  I did not approach the reporter nor did I at any time threaten the reporter physically or verbally."

Petrino did, however, apologize for his conduct. 

"Yesterday I reacted poorly to what I believed to be unfair criticism directed at our players and our program.  I allowed my passion for the program and our players to spill over into a conversation with Mr. Dugar in which I used an unprofessional tone. I apologize for my language and looking back, I wish that I had handled it differently," Petrino said. "But, again, let me be clear:  I never threatened Mr. Dugar and I was never physically restrained from approaching him; any other characterization of the events yesterday is simply not true."

Spear said he spoke with two athletic department officials who were in the vicinity of the incident and supports Petrino's claim that he didn't need to be physically restrained. 

"I want to make it very clear that at no point was Coach Petrino restrained," Spear said. "We’re taking this opportunity to set the record straight.  Coach Petrino and I have visited about constructive ways to interact with media in the future and I am confident he will do so."

Petrino pulled both Lawson and Dugar off to the side for a private conversation following the press conference. 

While some will see a contradiction and insinuate that one party must be lying, there is the possibility that perceptions simply vary as to what exactly constitutes a physical or verbal threat or what constitutes what it means to be physically restrained. 

Later, Dugar sent out this Tweet. 


Lawson published this account of what transpired.


Sean Kramer
Sean Kramer is a freelance correspondent who covers the University of Idaho football team and men's basketball team.

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