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A strange request from a coach...

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by sweetbreads bailey, Oct 11, 2007.

  1. Coach from the local cross country team emails me with the latest meet results. She and her assistant have been great in sending us info all season, including pictures from a couple of the big meets when her runners did well. Her team is good, with the boys team a legit state title contender and a couple of girls capable of contending for individual state titles (one finished second in the state last year, the other is a frosh who has beaten the first girl a few times this fall).

    Anyways, the coach asks that I not include her runners' times in the story. Apparently, the coaches from other teams in the conference (who weren't at this meet, I guess) might read them and change their strategy or something going into the conference championships. Good grief.

    How do you not run times from a cross country meet? The funny thing is they are already out there on other Web sites and in other papers. I'm running them but I always fear the "you didn't obey me so I'll no longer send you results" backlash.

    Anyone ever had a request like this? Makes me laugh. You finally give XC some coverage (I didn't much last year until state) and now that you want you to hold back...
  2. Some Guy

    Some Guy Active Member

    You have to run the times. In situations like this, I usually just blame "my editors."

    As in, "yeah, my editors really wouldn't let me run the results without the times." If it causes them to stop sending you results, well, fuck 'em. It's X-Country. And if the parents call to complain, explain you would be more than happy to run results, but the coaches stopped supplying them. Let them go bitch to the coach.
  3. Flying Headbutt

    Flying Headbutt Moderator Staff Member

    If it's already out there, well, it's cross country. If the coach gets mad I don't see more than eight readers getting upset by the decline in coverage. Heck you fill the hole with something more readers may give a shit about.
  4. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    I've heard that before and I never understood it. Now maybe I don't grasp the intracacies of XC, but don't you basically run against yourself? If Susie Runner clocks a 23:20 instead of a 23:50, what are you going to do differently? And it's not like everyone doesn't know who the fast runners on a team are. And if you've run their times before, it's all moot because they definitely know who the fast runners are. Coaches can be wacky, though.
  5. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Run the times and tell the coach that if she doesn't want the opposing coaches to know how fast her kids can run, then they should run slower.
  6. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    Have had swimming coaches do this as it gets closer to sectional meets. They don't want coaches from out of the area to know what their kids a doing.
    Stupid, stupid, stupid,
  7. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    And cross country parents seem to have the more inordinate desire for coverage. I got three complaints this fall that I wasn't doing enough XC on this one team that has one home meet all season, and no others within an hour drive of the homestead. I went to that one meet and there were 12 fans there.

    Best part was the third of the calls came a few days after I went to said meet. It was the mother of the top boys runners. I told her I was at the meet, had written the story, was looking at it on my layout screen and had tried to talk to her son, but he had left to watch his brother on another team play, and never returned a message to call me that the coach had given her. That deflated her in a hurry.

    Actually, I take that back. Best part was the first call, where the person in question wondered if I'd be at their next meet. Their next meet taking place three hours away. I'm sorry, ma'am, but a six-hour round trip for an hour of standing around and waiting for the runners to finish doesn't seem like the best use of my time, not when there's other events much closer that you can actually see.
  8. Idaho

    Idaho Active Member

    Also, don't list the scoring from the basketball games, the rushing yardage from the football games or the number of strikeouts and hits in baseball games. It might give opposing coaches too much info.

    Heck, even the scores or records in the paper might let opposing coaches know if a team is good or bad. We wouldn't want that.
  9. The funny thing is, times for XC will vary from course to course anyways (and day to day depending on conditions). My 3.1 mile course will be vastly different than your school's.

    I would think times would be more of an issue with swimming and track. I'd more look at how runners placed and against the competition they placed against...

    The times will be run ...
  10. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    A salient point. I went to a cross country meet yesterday to get a feature on the top runner, and the coach had told me last year that when they host a meet at the school, it's for the benefit of the parents. The course is flat and completely unchallenging, but it's a lot more open than most courses, which take you over the hills and through the woods. It lets people actually see their kids run instead of seeing them finish. But the tradeoff, of course, is the times are deceptively low and it doesn't do anything to get them ready for the conference/region/state meets. But they get that from the other events they run.
  11. hachat11

    hachat11 Member

    A local racing guy won some big race (for him) and got $5,000 for the first place prize. He asked two different times to not run how much he won, but anyone that looks on the website can see it. So, of course, we ran it.
    My only thought was maybe he wasn't going to report the winnings.
  12. Just found out that the course is the one being used for the upcoming regional meet, which makes the time issue a little more understandable. But we're still running the times.

    I emailed the assistant coach this morning, who said he would talk to the coach this afternoon and "get back to me" about my decision, as if I still need her permission or something ...
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