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Houston Coach Tom Herman & Talk Radio - A Match Made in Media Hell

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Houston's Tom Herman is still in the process of finding out that the publicity machines that helps build your program can also lead you down a media rabbit hole.

Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

It was a dream season for first-year coach Tom Herman with the Houston Cougars -- well except for that WTF? loss at Connecticut.

Still Houston finished with a flourish, slapping Florida State 38-24 in the Peach Bowl. Herman is following that up by putting together a Top 25 recruiting class that includes a rare 5-star recruit.

Speaking of recruiting. Houston just got former 5-star QB recruit Kyle Allen to commit to Houston after leaving Texas A&M.

About that commitment.

John Lopez, a long-time Houston newspaper reporter and radio announcer, reported on December 13th  that Allen and Herman met in Houston-during the recruiting dead period.

When the report showed up in the Houston Chronicle on Monday, Herman took umbrage with the report and put out the following statement.

"I would like to commend the members of the media who have accurately reported the mutual interest between our program and Kyle throughout this process. I am big on accountability within our program as we teach our young men to do the right thing, and I would hope members of the media would practice accountability as well. A completely inaccurate local report surfaed on Dec. 13 that Kyle and I had met in Houston, a report that could have been damaging to both our program and Kyle, and our accountability and truthfulness in speaking with others. In a world where too many are jumping at the chance to say they were first, I hope we all take time to ensure that our reports are accurate."

All well and good, if Coach Herman left it at that. However, he decided to take up an invitation to call into the local sports show that Lopez co-hosts on Sports Radio 610.

Not.  A.  Good.  Idea.

The 22-minute exchange between Herman and the hosts (Lopez and Nick Wright) turned into an obvious no-win situation for the coach. Herman kept insisting that because Lopez got the meeting wrong (it was by phone) that the report was completely inaccurate, while Lopez kept saying he was the first to report the story. Herman also went off on several tangents about the lack of coverage of his program by the hosts, their attacks others, etc.

Good talk radio - but not that great for the coach.

Congratulations coach on an incredible first year. You have the look of a big-time coach -- who may very soon find himself at an elite program. Now if I may, I would like to pass along a little friendly advice.

As someone who spent half his working career as a reporter an the other half on the public relations side, let pass along a small warning about working with the media. You will have a lot of people vying for your time and attention. Getting into squabbles with the media should be kept to a minimum. Say your piece, then stay out of it.

There is a great line about bickering with the media that has been credited to Mark Twain. It may seem a little dated, but the heart of the message still stands.

Never pick a fight with people who buy ink by the barrel.