Was Greg McElroy too harsh on Matt Elam?

Was Greg McElroy too harsh on Matt Elam?

Kindsey Bernhardover 4 years


SEC Network analyst Greg McElroy made headlines in Kentucky last week after criticizing the play of Kentucky’s defensive line and singling out Matt Elam.

Some people thought his comments were uncalled for and some people thought Elam needed the criticism to use a motivation.

“This was an embarrassing effort last year, particularly the former 5-star, Matt Elam, who’s lazy and as underachieving a player as I’ve seen in this league in a long time,” McElroy said.

WKYT’s Steve Moss spoke with McElroy just after his initial comment, and the former Alabama quarterback still continued his harsh criticism of Elam.

It was very clear that Mark Stoops was not a fan of McElroy’s comments and thought it was wrong to single out a certain player.

Stoops was not the only person who thought McElroy’s were uncalled for. Many people thought McElroy’s comments went too far including Lexington Herald-Leader columnist Mark Story.

In the current wild west media culture, it may be quaint to even mention standards for discourse. Still, as someone who has spent almost my entire journalism career covering sports in a college market, I’ve thought a lot about what level of media criticism is appropriate when directed toward people who are still, in theory, students in school to learn.

This is where I come down. I think it is fair to evaluate how college athletes perform in games.

If the quarterback continually fumbles the ball, it’s just being honest to say his turnovers are hurting the team. If the punter keeps shanking kicks, it’s fair game to say his team needs him to perform better.

And if the lavishly praised prospect does not produce at a level commensurate with his recruiting hype, I think it’s fair to point that out.

Where I think you’ve gone too far, however, is when critique of performance on the field spills over into criticism of the personal characteristics or the personality of a college kid.

To me, that’s where McElroy – who I think is good on TV, by the way – crossed the line with his remarks on Elam.

They were too personal.

To read of all Story’s comments, click here.

So Big Blue Nation, what do you think? Do you think it McElroy’s criticism was fair? Or do you agree with Story and think his comments went too far? Let us know in the comment section.


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