Be Frustrated with the Team, Not D.J. Williams

 

D.J. Williams has never been afraid to call out things that aren’t right…

Often it’s players out of position or not giving their all as part of his weekly breakdown clips.  Other times, it’s what he spots on the sidelines that show the team isn’t focused on the task at hand.  If you’ve followed D.J.’s transition from the field to television, you know he tells it like it is.

That’s exactly what happened this week following a beating from Mississippi State.

During the post-game press conference, Williams asked Coach Chad Morris about some of his key players being distracted before the game.  You can watch the question below:

As you’ll see in the clip, Williams never names the players.  It’s my understanding Coach Morris and staff asked him to further elaborate in private on what he saw on the sidelines.  Williams talked with Morris in hopes the situation could be worked out internally and not be made public.  Williams talked more about  that conversation in the Twitter video below:

Truth: this situation could be much worse.  Williams has pictures of the players flirting with cheerleaders from the other team.  There’s no doubt if he published them, they’d be plastered on every major website and sports television station in the country.  It would be a much bigger story.  Those images would also hang over the players for the rest of their careers.

However, D.J. will not publish them.

As his boss, I asked him to hand them over.  And you know what?  He won’t.

He took them on his personal camera.  When I asked him to send them to me, his answer was clear: “not going to happen.”

While I don’t agree with it, there’s something respectable about it.  While D.J. is now a member of the media, he can’t shake the fact he’s part of the Razorback family.  At the University of Arkansas, he transformed from a child whose life was marred by domestic violence into an elite football player with the opportunity to define his own future.  He refuses to put that behind him.  In his mind, he’ll always be part of the Razorback family.

When we hired D.J., he made this fact clear.  He wasn’t signing up to do what everyone else did.  He toes his own unique line.   We accepted that because D.J. brings something special to the table.  He sees things in games and film that no one else does.  He has a perspective few others ever will.

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To everyone lashing out against D.J. for bringing it up in the first place: that’s his job.  It’s not his job to babysit adult players, it’s his job to identify and analyze reasons why the team got destroyed by 46 points.  And that’s exactly what he did.

He attempted to do it in a manner that protected the players involved — which is far more than myself or many other members of the media would’ve done.

For D.J., covering Arkansas isn’t just a job – it’s personal.   And that’s why he provides the most unique coverage of the program you’ll find in the state of Arkansas.  Period.

I get you want to be frustrated.  We all are.  But take that finger you’re pointing at D.J. and turn it towards the team…

D.J. didn’t get beat 52 to 6.

 

20 thoughts on “Be Frustrated with the Team, Not D.J. Williams

  1. DJ is a great man. He is a man of integrity and honesty . He loves the Razorbacks and wants what is best for his team. He handled this situation with class.

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  2. He crossed a line. He made the story about himself. He blindsided the coach in the post-game news conference. He was openly insubordinate to his news director.

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  3. DJ handled this with the integrity of a journalist and with the best interest of the University and these young men and for that I as a former journalist and as a fan am grateful! DJ, you keep doing you and thank you for your integrity! These days it’s a breath of fresh air!

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  4. If he is a journalist, he should operate with the best interest of the story…not the best interest of the university. This notion is antithetical to journalism. The interests of the university are not his concern. If this is a legitimate story, it should have been handled as just that…and that means presenting the facts you have. He’s copping out by using the excuse that he took the photos with his personal cell phone.

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  5. There’s a difference between agreeing with his opinion about what he witnessed/documented and affirming the decisions he made as a member of the media.

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  6. DJ was right. Those players were not focused as they should have been. Arkansas secondary has been exploited for years. The past few years the same thing. Defense has opponents in 3rd and long, I’m watching and scream…don’t let their receiver get behind you. Bam..
    Opponents score. Mental breakdown because they are not focused. I’m a die-hard fan, but every game recently you know what’s going to happen. The Hogs problem is mental.

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  7. The vast majority of the people making these comments are a big factor in what’s wrong with this world. You always want the dirt on people. You always want to hear what someone said about someone else. You always want to know who did what to or with someone else. DJs responsibility as a journalist/ sports media person is to report the games and make opinions on the factors of the games. His job is not to throw people under the bus so that he may get ahead of someone or in his job. His integrity is a lot higher than that of the people wanting the dirty details and to bash someone.

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  8. “You always want to hear what someone said about someone else. You always want to know who did what to or with someone else.”
    How is this not what Williams did? He ratted out a couple of players to their coach because he didn’t agree with what they were doing, then he tried to give himself cover by framing it as a news story…except her refuses to fully report the story.

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  9. If DJ thought or wanted this to be handled in house why would he bring up in a live press conference, and put Morris on the spot instead take to Coach Morris personally? He wanted a story and got a story bottom line. The boys made a mistake but don’t compound with BS saying I thought it would be handled in-house .

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  10. Way to go DJ !!! I think you handled it perfectly. The players needed to be disciplined, but as a lifelong Hog fan I’m glad we aren’t being drummed and made laughingstock by the National media over this incident. We’ll done sir!!!

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  11. It’s not his call on how the university handles it. If you bring it up publicly, you’ve opened the can of worm. Pics were taken on his “personal phone.”
    Lol.
    1. How many journalists use a personal phone for work stuff – just like he did THAT DAY I’m sure.
    2. He had that access with his media credential so you can’t have it both ways.
    Also why do a twitter video with no station affiliation?
    Nothing about this was handled like a serious journalist.

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  12. In part, I agree. “Don’t blame D.J., blame the team”
    Blame the team, clearly has issues.
    Also, blame DJ’s bosses for this journalistic farce.

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  13. I think the Williams apologists in this comment thread may be missing the point. I’m sure he’s a nice man of high integrity, but what he did here was not sound journalism. If he wants to be a member of the “Hog family” and inject himself into player discipline, he can do that on his own time. But, he was on his news organization’s time (and, evidently, credential). This is a bad look for him and his station. They injected themselves into a team process. Their role is to observe and report. If you observe something and make the decision to report on it, that’s what you should do. But, if you hold back critical elements of the story for fear of offending the “family,” then you’re half-baking your process, at best.
    This whole situation is really clunky and unfortunate. I agree with a comment above…intentionally or not, Mr. Williams made this story about himself.

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  14. One of the biggest hog fans since birth, almost 50 years, I expected a big time down year, because of who and what BB left him. Last year I quit wearing all of my hog clothes (shirts, pants, and so many hats) to protest BB. So glad he is gone. Chad Morris will rebuild our team, but he is not Merlin. Ignorant fans want his job, fans that don’t know anything about real football. We will go bowling next year and l have also worn the hog attire throughout this season, I have hope in Coach Morris, please quit trying to run him off. Go DJ, do your job the way you want unless your bosses say different. I have noticed the same type things, like finger tackling, pitiful! You want to be a hog, then give it your all, not just a finger! Please lose the “woo pig” it reminds me of a very lackadaisical man!!!

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