Coach Snubbing ‘Orlando Sentinel’ Over Player’s Death Story

By: Joe Strupp

The Orlando Sentinel is being snubbed by a prominent local college football coach who claims the paper’s coverage of a player’s death last spring was inaccurate, the paper reported.

University of Central Florida football coach George O’Leary reportedly told a Sentinel reporter Thursday that he would not answer questions because he objected to the paper’s reporting on the death of Ereck Plancher, a freshman who died in March after a workout.

“O’Leary alluded to the newspaper’s coverage of UCF football player Ereck Plancher’s death when explaining why he would not respond to questions from the paper,” the Sentinal reported Friday in a story about O’Leary’s appearance Thursday at Florida Sports Writers Association media days in Tampa.

“During the press conference, a Sentinel reporter asked O’Leary what it takes to repeat as conference champions. O’Leary responded by clarifying what newspaper the reporter represented,” the Sentinel reported. “He then said, ‘I’m not having any dialogue with your paper until corrections to erroneous statements have been written.’??

“When asked to clarify his statement, O’Leary responded, ‘It’s that right now I’m at the point under advisement not to have any dialogue with the Orlando Sentinel until basically some things that have been written have been corrected,'” the paper said.?

The paper added that O’Leary declined to specify what errors had been reported by the Sentinel.??

The Sentinel published a story April 11 quoting four UCF players who said Plancher’s final workout “was far more strenuous than school officials initially stated.”

O’Leary then issued a statement, the Sentinel reported, “contending there were numerous errors in the Sentinel’s story. UCF officials have repeatedly declined to identify specific errors in the Sentinel’s coverage.”

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