After denying access to Miami Herald beat writer David J. Neal for the football team’s opening game last Saturday, Florida International University has decided to credential him for the remainder of the season, according to Paul Dodson, the school’s assistant athletic director for media relations.
“The FIU sports program is an important part of our coverage,“ said Miami Herald Executive Editor Aminda Marqués Gonzalez. “We’re glad we were able to reach a quick resolution.”
Neal, who is covering his fourth FIU season, attended Saturday’s 14-12 loss to Bethune-Cookman with a ticket and sat in the stands, but did not write a game story or post-game blog, as he would have were he credentialed.
Neal’s access to FIU coaches and athletes had been reduced for months. He was not allowed to attend football practice or conduct interviews.
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FIU issued a statement last week explaining its decision to deny Neal’s credential: “We did not issue a media credential to the Herald’s beat reporter because of concerns we have brought up to the Herald’s reporter and editors over the past few years about the reporter’s interactions with our student athletes, coaches and staff, and the nature of the resulting coverage.’’
The Herald examined Neal’s coverage and found it to be fair and professional.