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Monopods No Longer Allowed at OU Football Games Because of Lens Crushing Incident

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Last weekend, Tulsa World photojournalist Mike Simons made headlines for all the wrong reasons when Oklahoma football player Sterling Shepard took a painful fall onto Simons’ Canon telephoto lens, snapping it in half.

The incident prompted criticism from OU coach Bob Stoop, a public apology from Simons, and now, a new set of rules for photographers covering football games handed down by the powers that be at OU.

The new sideline policy, published in Tulsa World yesterday, specifies where photographers can and can’t stand, as well as what they can and can’t bring to games in way of gear so that incidents like this don’t happen again:

For the last three home games of OU’s season, photographers like Simons will have to keep any equipment attached to their person (Simons explains here why his gear was lying next to him on the ground). They will also be prohibited from bringing any tripods or monopods into the games, including monopods used to sit on.

Additionally, no photographers will be allowed to work from the ‘tarp area in the SW corner of the stadium adjacent to the ramp leading to the visiting locker room.’

Finally, the rules aren’t limited to photographers. Event staff have also been instructed to keep photographers’ line of sight clear, especially when a play is in progress, and walk behind them whenever possible.


Update: It appears the policy was quickly changed after the initial release. It now reads:

No tripods are permitted on the field at any time. This includes monopods that are utilized to sit on during games. Monopods attached to cameras are permissible.

So monopods are still okay as long as they’re attached to a camera.

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