University of Hawaii football coach Norm Chow abruptly canceled interview sessions this morning in response to Honolulu Star-Advertiser columnist Dave Reardon’s presence at the first practice of spring training at UH’s grass practice field.
In a statement released by UH this afternoon, Chow apologized for his outburst, saying: "I’m extremely sorry that my actions this morning deflected attention away from a very good beginning to spring practice. Going forward, the focus will continue to be on our football team and the hard work they are putting in to prepare for the 2014 season."
Television reporters were interviewing quarterback Taylor Graham when Chow yelled that Reardon was not welcomed at the practice. This morning’s practice, unlike practices during the regular season, was open to the public.
Reardon said he was prepared to leave the grass practice field when Chow began yelling and then ordered a halt to the media’s interviews with players and assistant coaches. Graham, who was about to answer a question from television reporters, apologized and then joined teammates in sprinting off the field.
Later, Chow told the Star-Advertiser he was angry over a January column questioning Kevin Clune’s hiring as defensive coordinator. Chow said the column was "disrepectful" to Clune and jeopardized his relationship with players.
Reardon, whose duties for the newspaper are to provide opinion pieces, had attended Clune’s introductory news conference a week after the column was published without any incident. This morning was the first face-to-face encounter between Chow and Reardon this year.
Out of respect for media cohorts, Reardon said he was willing to leave the field when the outburst occurred.