Ross Bjork, Director of Athletics at the University of Mississippi, has written a letter criticizing the picture that the Memphis Commercial Appeal used on in its sports section following the University of Memphis’ upset victory over the Rebels. The picture showed memphis commercial appeal “smash hit” football mississippi concussion Ole Miss player Robert Nkemdiche crumpled on the ground with Tiger players standing over him. Bjork wrote:
“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 two 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.”