Larry Porter’s first year as Memphis head coach didn’t turn out the way he expected. The Tigers are 1-10 and host UCF on Saturday at the Liberty Bowl.
Porter’s first year also included some conflict with the local Memphis media. Today, Porter set the record straight on his media policies and talked about the future of the Memphis program.
Porter started, “I also want to say thank you, not just for today, but throughout the whole season. I think it’s a great compliment to you guys in how you’ve handled this season in terms of keeping things in perspective. I think, as we go forward, we just have to continue to give this program a platform that will allow it to flourish. Again, for your coverage and all the things that you’ve done, I want to say thank you.”
Regarding his media policy, Porter said, “Alright, let me set the record straight, OK. Everybody’s listening? My practices are not closed. They’re just structured to where the media comes at a certain time. So that perception has somehow taken a turn for the worst. And I understand and I did not try to debate the way you guys presented it. I did not. I understood exactly what you were saying, but my practices are not closed. As we go forward, let me say this publicly. The first three days of spring football will be open to the public, OK. Everybody there. It will be open to the public, so we’ll start there. In terms of my players, in terms of my freshmen, that’s just a fundamental belief of mine. I think you’ve got to educate guys before you just kind of send them out to the media and ask them questions that they may not be mature enough to handle. And in terms of my coaches, as we continue to grow and they know me and what I’m all about, I’ll be more open to allowing them to talk to the media.”
So what’s next for the program?
“I think if you look at the things going on, the future of this program is very bright. I really do believe that. Just the vibe I get from kids that want to be a part of this program. It has affected us in some ways, but just the reception you get overall; I think we’re headed in the right direction. I feel good about where we’re going. And then you look at the nucleus of this team. I think we’re in great shape.”