With NFL teams beginning OTAs on Tuesday, and with training camp a few months away, the Buffalo Bills released a new media policy to credentialed reporters, according to Tyler Dunne of the Buffalo News.
And from the looks of it, this new policy severely limits what reporters can relay from training camp.
Dunne states that while many NFL teams try to prohibit information getting out to the public, the new policy is “bizarre even by bizarre NFL standards.”
Dunne relayed what appears to be the entire policy sent to credentialed reporters. Here are some of the most eye-raising excerpts.
- Reporters are prohibited from reporting (which the Bills note includes “radio reports, tweets, podcasts and blogs”) specific plays, strategies, formations, packages, sub-packages, and players practicing with specific units.
- Reporters may not relay “who is rushing the passer, dropped passes, interceptions, QB completion percentage, etc.”
- Photographers may only shoot during designated portions of practice.
- “Media should not report on any injury situation occurring during a practice that is not open to the public with detailed speculation to the potential nature, severity of the injury or level of practice participation. Acknowledging an injury occurred is permitted, but anything beyond a general report would be purely speculative and possibly inaccurate.”
Many in the NFL world reacted with astonishment to the strict new policy.
You read that correctly. If somebody drops a pass, it cannot reported.
— Tyler Dunne (@TyDunne) May 24, 2016
Shortly after news of the new media policy came out, the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA) released the media policies of NFL teams from 2015. It’s unclear if the Bills’ new policy violates any of the PFWA.
We have reached out to the Bills for a copy of the policy and for statement.
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