Often Vocal, Va. Tech Star Clams Up
NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ Corey Moore has decided not to speak with reporters again before the Sugar Bowl, a day after answering a reporter’s question with an expletive, storming away and then toying with the press throughout Media Day.
Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer said Saturday that Moore wanted to apologize to the writer whose question elicited the profane response, and said the choice to not speak to the media was Moore’s and not one the school had suggested.
``He’s getting ready to play,″ Beamer said of the All-America defensive end, who had a Big East-record 17 sacks this season and won the Bronko Nagurski Award as the nation’s top defender and the Lombardi Award as the top lineman. ``People that know Corey, when he gets ready to play, he doesn’t need to talk anymore.″
Moore was one of five defensive players scheduled to meet with the media Saturday, but didn’t show, despite apparent requests from Beamer that he apologize for the outburst, defensive coordinator Bud Foster said.
In Moore’s absence, Foster apologized for him.
``I do know he wants to apologize. That’s not the way Corey is,″ Foster said. ``I think right now, we’ve practiced a lot and we’re all getting a little edgy and getting ready to play. I’ll apologize for Corey because that’s not how he is.″
Moore has been the Hokies’ most colorful interview all season, filling notebooks with rants about schedule strength, BCS standings and a perceived lack of respect that has been perhaps his favorite sound-off topic.
Moore hinted the day before the Media Day gathering at the Superdome that he was planning some sort of outburst, people close to him said. It came almost immediately when he reached a podium where he was to be available to media.
Answering a question about his New Year’s Eve plans, Moore snapped: ``I don’t give a damn about that. We’re here to win a national championship.″
When questions followed about media distractions and Florida State quarterback Chris Weinke, Moore insulted the reporter, swore and stalked away huffing.
Later, he agreed to interviews with some Virginia television stations, leaving each time other reporters closed in to listen. Then, he finally held court, surrounded by an eager throng of nearly 50 television, radio and print reporters.
Even then, he wasn’t his normal, notebook-filling self.
``What should you write about?″ he quipped at one point, repeating a question. ``That the two best teams in the country are playing and how the BCS almost screwed us. You guys like to write. That should be a good story.″
Beamer said he’s never considered attempting to muzzle his star.
``I respect Corey Moore. He plays hard. He wants what’s best for this football team. He gets a little agitated at times,″ Beamer said, drawing laughter. ``He plays that way. He prepares that way, and I’m glad he’s on our team.″