MISSOULA - University of Montana football coach Bobby Hauck is making news on ESPN, but not necessarily the kind of news Griz fans want to see.
ESPN college football reporter Pat Forde blasted Hauck in this week's edition of "The Dash," which is Forde's weekly column on espn.com. Forde called Hauck "The Bum of the first half of the season" for his treatment of The Kaimin, UM's student newspaper.
"Nobody likes a bully, and that's what Hauck has been to an easy target - the student paper at the school," wrote Forde, who continued "Hauck has retaliated at a story in the paper, The Kaimin, about an alleged assault of a student by two football players. He has publicly belittled its reporters, refused to answer questions from the paper and the players have followed suit by declining to comment to Kaimin staffers."
The school newspaper published a news story last month on an alleged assault outside a fraternity earlier this year by two Griz football players on a UM student, who required medical attention. While the incident went unreported to local authorities, some UM officials were made aware of the situation, including Hauck, who punished the athletes internally and contacted the victim's father.
Since the story was published, Hauck and his players have been giving the Kaimin the silent treatment.
At a recent weekly news conference, a Kaimin reporter asked Hauck whether he was going to continue rotating quarterbacks.
"You want something from me now?" replied Hauck. "You've got to be kidding me."
A Missoulian sportswriter immediately followed up with the same question, to which Hauck provided an answer.
At the following week's news conference, the Kaimin reporter again asked a question - this one on how the Grizzly defense would defend against the speed of an opposing running back.
Hauck's reply: "I'll give you this, you're persistent. Who's next?"
After a recent practice, a student reporter asked a question of a player, who replied that he "wasn't allowed to talk to the Kaimin," the school newspaper reported.
UM officials strongly deny that claim, saying the athletes decided among themselves not to talk.