I deleted a comment above per the author's request but I wanted to include my clarification response. Here it is:
To be clear, the DIA doesn't send me up into overflow in Champaign. They've been great about up-close access at basketball games and full access at football games. My frustrations in Champaign are not credential-based, but access-to-the-team based (and that's every media member, not just me). I got so much stuff from post-practice, off-to-the-side conversations with players and coaches at Camp Rantoul. That's the space I wrote from. Now, those are all gone. The only access to players and coaches are media scrums (10 people standing around asking questions and recording), and I can't do what I used to do in an environment like that. It all went away during Covid and it never came back.
My issues when I leave Champaign are credential-based. I've worked to gain a seat at the table (literally - the courtside table), I've been doing this for 14 years (I think only one person downstairs while I was upstairs has been doing this longer), I have more in-game Twitter engagement than anyone at that table, yet there's no way to prove my legitimacy. The entire media world has changed but the media hierarchy is stuck in 1988.
The only weapon I have in that war: write this article.