When it comes to college football broadcasting the ESPN/ABC team of Brent Musburger, analyst Kirk Herbstreit and sideline reporter Heather Cox are as good as it gets. The trio always makes sure to hit the high notes and they never miss a storyline or shy away from asking tough questions.
That brings us to their coverage of the FSU dismantling of Duke in the ACC Championship Game. They were quick to give FSU credit for a perfect season and to declare that the Seminoles were back playing for a national championship. But it was after the game ended and Musburger tossed it down to Cox for a postgame interview with quarterback Jameis Winston that things got a little touchy.
Winston was elated as one might expect after the win and he answered Cox questions with both poise and the proper tone given the game was just over. Cox, to her credit asked about the team now being able to talk about playing for a national championship and then asking about what the last month has been like with news of an investigation was going on while he was playing. Again, Winston was very clear and respectful to say the right things to Cox. She then asked about the never ending support he got from FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher, to which Winston said ” I love him, he inspires both me and the team to want reach higher and higher.”
Then came the final question from Cox – Why have you decided not too talk through out the proceedings? Winston simply turns and walked away leaving Cox without an answer as she congratulated him on having a great game and season.
Twitter blew up and the football world was mad at Heather Cox and they let her know it.
Was Cox wrong to ask that question at that time? Perhaps, it was right after the biggest game of the kids career and it might have been one question too many. Cox had the right to ask it and Winston, who was not mad, nor was he rude, clearly had the right not too answer the question.
He simply turned slowly and walked away from Cox, not in an angry way but more in a – this interview is over— thanks for your time sort of a way.
Cox has a job to do and that is ask questions that sometimes people in the heat of the moment do not want to address. She should not be taken for task for asking a legitimate question. As for Winston he was well within his rights to politely turn and walk away from Cox. He showed no disrespect to Cox and it simply was a question he felt needed no answer.
Both the reporter and the player exercised their person rights and neither should be criticized for the action on the field right after the game. The same trio of broadcasters will have plenty of time to talk to Winston and the rest of the Seminoles as they will call the BCS Championship Game on ESPN. So, Cox and Winston will have a chance to talk a great deal before the next time we see the two of them in Pasadena.