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FIU reportedly denies credentials to its only year-round beat writer

The Miami Herald will no longer cover the team after the decision, reportedly given with no explanation from the athletic department.

David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Herald will not cover FIU football this season for the first time in the program's history, after school officials apparently denied a press credential to beat writer David Neal. Neal was the only every-day beat writer covering the Panthers and had covered the team since June 2011.

Update, September 2: FIU has reversed course, deciding to credential Neal for the rest of the season.

FIU athletic director Pete Garcia previously caught national criticism when the school fired football coach Mario Cristobal, the program's all-time winningest coach and the only person to lead the Golden Panthers to a bowl game. Garcia was rumored to make the move in order to hire Butch Davis, but he ended up settling on Ron Turner. Turner posted a 1-11 record in his first season as FIU's head coach in 2013, and FIU lost their season opener to FCS Bethune Cookman Saturday.

"I covered FIU along with David for three years," former South Florida Sun-Sentinel college football beat writer and current Underdog Dynasty contributor Dieter Kurtenbach said. "He's a consummate professional who has been fair to FIU despite years of mistreatment. This latest development doesn't surprise me, but it is extremely disappointing. Hopefully it highlights the ridiculousness of FIU athletics, and brings a larger discussion on how beat writers are treated in college football."

Programs around the country have been shifting to in-house media, with USC recently getting in hot water for publishing player Josh Shaw's tall tale about saving his nephew drowning as truth.