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15-year-old Columbus kid with inside scoop on college recruiting

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Evil ... Thy name is Orville Redenbacher!!, Sep 18, 2015.

  1. SoloFlyer

    SoloFlyer Active Member

    Outside of the atrociously written article with the unnecessary use of first person, the story reminds me some of Alex Kline. He's now a major part of the Rivals network as one of its basketball recruiting analysts/reporters, but there was a time when he was breaking recruiting news as a high schooler. Coaches were tapped in, recruits confided in him; if Kline said something was happening, it was gospel. I think he's at Syracuse now and is a pretty significant figure in the world of college hoops recruiting.

    This kid in Columbus sounds more like a digital media hypeman. He has the contacts and the early info, but unlike Kline, he's not releasing it as news. He's helping the recruits, basically as digital PR.
     
    SFIND likes this.
  2. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    Yeah, that story is pumped up by an extra 1,000 words. The kid makes cool graphics for recruits. They send him their lists. He sends back graphics. End of story.

    Well, not quite. What the kid is doing, when providing a free service to these recruits and talking up Michigan, is committing an NCAA violation. A harmless one, but one nonetheless, especially if the kid is talking to Michigan staffers.

    I dunno what Jim Harbaugh's thinking, following the kid on Twitter. He's not, obviously.
     
  3. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    The kid isn't subject to NCAA rules.

    And Harbaugh isn't breaking any NCAA rules following the kid on twitter.
     
  4. Tweener

    Tweener Active Member

    I don't think this is nearly as big of a story as the author made it out to be. Could have been done in half the space.

    Now, if the kid was leaking information and/or having an influence on where these kids end up in college, that's a really interesting story.
     
  5. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    This kind of stuff has become fairly common during the baseball hot stove season.

    Chris Cotillo was still in high school a couple of years ago when he broke the news that Doug Fister had been traded to the Nationals. He's now a freshman at North Carolina and works full-time for SB Nation.

    This past Christmas Eve, some guy (not a teenager) was standing in line behind Fredi Gonzalez at Honeybaked Ham when Gonzalez mentioned the Braves had signed A.J. Pierzynski. The man's son posted it on Twitter and was later given credit for the scoop by all the beat guys.

    On the flip side, there were those two high school kids who supposedly broke the news that Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval had agreed to sign with the Red Sox. Turns out they had stolen the news off Twitter and tweeted it to Jon Heyman claiming to be first.

    But yeah, a coach like Harbaugh following anyone on Twitter strictly for information-monitoring purposes is totally within NCAA rules. Now if he reaches out to the kid reporter and uses him as a go-between with the recruit, then that's a violation.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2015
  6. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    In the spring of 1995 as a high school senior I was covering some local banquet where a couple former sports stars were speaking. At the pre-banquet meet-and-greet, I overheard a former local MLB'er, Rookie of the Year several years before, tell someone he had been invited as a replacement player. I followed up on it, and the next morning, at age 17, I had the GM calling my house to confirm, and then wrote it up for the paper.

    Not exactly the scoop of the century, but it was pretty exciting for a young 'un.
     
  7. SFIND

    SFIND Active Member

    I met Wasserman (author of the article) several years ago when I was a second guy for paper at Ohio State games. He is a very nice guy and a great reporter. I can't remember which one, but he started out for some website -- I'm thinking the OSU Rivals site -- before getting a job at the Plain Dealer. It was very nice to see a guy be able to move up in the world like that.

    That said, I checked out of that story after the introduction. I echo Solo; the first-person narrative is awful. I don't care how you came across the kid on Twitter, that you got interested in him by reading his bio, or that you're "hooked" because he's a Michigan fan in Columbus. With all due respect to Mr. Wasserman, as the old SJ saying goes: you're not the story, you're the storyteller.
     
  8. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    The schools are subject to not having fans who pose with coaches and players plugging the school or offering a service in exchange for plugging a school.

    It's not something the NCAA is going to shut down because of the optics. But I'll bet somebody in Michigan's compliance - provided they feel allowed to speak to the almighty Harbaugh - has reservations about it.
     
  9. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Well-Known Member

    Oh, come on, now. Coaches would never do such a thing.
     
  10. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    What are the NCAA rules that prohibits a coach from posing with a fan on campus? And what are the NCAA rules that somehow regulate a fan from trying to convince recruits to choose the school he supports? And what the NCAA rules that prohibit Harbaugh from following someone's public Twitter feed?

    NCAA rules-- speaking generally -- restrict how many times, and when, a coach can contact a recruit. They also restrict things like the giving of gifts by a school to induce a recruit. In recent years, there has been a proliferation of street agents, family members, etc. who try to market recruits to schools for financial gain. That would certainly violate NCAA rules -- for example, if a Michigan paid someone like that, to land a player. But as long as this kid never approached Harbaugh asking for money or gifts in return for steering recruits his way -- and I'll assume that is true, unless there is any evidence of it -- there are no NCAA compliance issues with what you said in that first post: "What the kid is doing, when providing a free service to these recruits and talking up Michigan, is committing an NCAA violation." That is just not true. It's not even murky, if no money or gifts are changing hands.
     
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