By Lucy Jackson
Nobody will forget the freshman football teamâs 14-0 victory over Lynwood High School today. New assistant coach Ashton Kutcherâs presence ensured that a dozen paparazzi were there to capture the win on camera.
âItâs just too much,â Director of Campus Operations James De MattÃ© said. âIf heâs at a premiere, thatâs one thing. Thatâs his job. But at a football game? Thatâs too much.â
Photographers swarmed around a gap in the trees surrounding the field and snapped pictures from Coldwater Canyon after security personnel denied them entry onto the campus. Equipped with telephoto lenses and video cameras, they jostled for position, some using stepladders to get a clearer view.
One photographer, who scaled a tree just inside the school gates to get a better angle, said many of them worked for X17, a celebrity gossip website that displays candid photos of celebrities. The photographers trail stars and take pictures of everything they do, regardless of how trivial, he said.
âThe story isnât a big deal, weâre just paid to take photos of them wherever they go,â he said.
Head of Athletics Audrius Barzdukas agreed that the story isnât worth the media attention that it has received.
âThe story here is the non-story,â he said. âHeâs a coach like any other coach. He comes to meetings, he does his work.â
Still, some photographers refuse to let up, said De MattÃ©, who kicked one such cameraman from Access Hollywood off campus after he had snuck on during the game. De MattÃ© asked another photographer from TMZ to leave during last weekâs game as well. Despite the behavior of the paparazzi, however, Kutcher remains focused on coaching, De MattÃ© said.
âHeâs totally cool with it,â he said. âHe knows weâre here to keep an eye on everybody and watch out for him and the kids.â
While Kutcher may be well-seasoned in dealing with paparazzi, De MattÃ© doesnât think the players have been fazed by the media either.
âYouâre in the middle of Hollywood,â he said. âItâs typical in our society that this happens. I think people are fed up with it, if anything.â
Regardless of the media circus Kutcher has attracted, the football team captured its second win to maintain a perfect record, seemingly unfazed by the star power of its new coach.
âHeâs a guy whoâs put in the work to learn our systems and our schemes,â Barzdukas said. âHeâs a great communicator and a great motivator.â
To view photos click here.