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Am I overdoing this?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Mr. X, Jun 6, 2007.

  1. Mr. X

    Mr. X Active Member

    I writing a story on the athletic award winners of the high school I cover, which were presented Tuesday night.

    As I discuss the major award winners, I mention where they will be playing next year.

    I wrote Smith plans on playing (name of sport) at (name of school), which competes on the Division III nonscholarship level. (We have a rule that we have to explain just about everything to readers who may not know all sports terminology, hence the phrase that is redundant to those here.)

    In the next paragraph, I wrote Jones plans on playing (sport) for (name of school), a member of the Ivy League, whose members do not grant athletic scholarships.

    Then I wrote Brown will play (sport) as a nonscholarship player at (name of school).

    Am I making too big of a deal that none of these athletes are getting college scholarships? Part of me wants to write this to indirectly tell parents how rare it is to get an athletic scholarship if you come from this high school. I believe one person got a scholarship from this year's senior class.

    There are also parents who don't know that Division III schools don't give scholarships. I had one once tell me, "So and so is getting a scholarship to (Division III school.)" I said, "That’s a Division III school, which by definition doesn’t give scholarships."

    Some of these parents think that my writing about their children will get them athletic scholarships, while I fear others will be angry if I leave and the paper drops sports coverage, because they think it will mean no athletic scholarships for their children, who wouldn't be getting them anyway, in all but one case.
  2. Babs

    Babs Member

    I think the way you wrote it is fine. Not enough people know what kinds of colleges give scholarships, or how rare it is.
  3. TyWebb

    TyWebb Well-Known Member

    Agreed. There is a big difference between playing for a scholarship and not.
  4. When we write D-III signing stories - or any signing stories for that matter - we don't mention that there is no such thing as a D-III athletic scholarship or that Valerie Varsity is getting $200 in scholarship money to play soccer at D-II Hillbilly Tech.
    We just go ahead and write the story about Henry Hick heading to D-III Stumpjumper Tech where he will play Polo. No questions asked.

    God I hate it.
  5. dawgpounddiehard

    dawgpounddiehard Active Member


    You're writing facts. Kinda what we're supposed to do. Don't worry about it.
  6. FuturaBold

    FuturaBold Member

    I got a phone call once from a parent pretty much demanding that I write a story on their child. She told me that getting a story about her in the paper was part of the requirements for them to get a scholarship.


    "Well, sorry kid, you can play, you've got potential, you could be a star here at Hillbilly Tech. But that weekly rag in your hometown didn't have enough column inches on you. Good luck working at McDonald's..."
  7. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Personally, I think it is too much information and bogs it down. Why not just say they are going to Princeton to play water polo or Division III to play lacrosse?

    What if the kid at Princeton is getting a full academic ride or the lacrosse coach at the D-3 school has all sorts of grants and such so that his lacrosse players are basically on the school's dime.

    I think people pretty much know their is a difference between playing football at Ohio State and squash at Mount Holyhoke.
  8. I'm not so sure Ace,
    I don't think its such common knowledge that there is no such thing as an athletic scholarship to a D-III school.
    While you can tell a difference between a football scholarship to OSU and water polo athletic ride to Slippery Rock, I think it's important to let readers know if the athlete got a full or partial scholarship.

    I have never liked the fact that the kid going to Potomac State, on an "athletic scholarship" (by this I mean $600) is getting the same 12-inch write up and a volleyball player who got a full ride to Duke or the basketball player who got a scholarship to Cincinnati.

    Besides you have to something to fill in all space between "It was the right fit for me" and "When I visited I really liked what they had to offer" quotes.
  9. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Well, how do you know the kid going to run track at UCLA or play baseball at Mississippi is getting a scholarship? What about a partial scholarship?

    Baseball teams divvy them up pretty good. Should we say Joe Bloe got a 1/8th scholarship to play baseball at Tennessee Tech?
  10. donaugust

    donaugust Member

    I can guarantee this is true. Papers make this mistake all the time.
  11. three_bags_full

    three_bags_full Well-Known Member

    I met a chick from Slippery Rock, once.

    That's all I have for this discussion.
  12. In my opinion yes.

    Was she cute?
    Before we go any further with this: Your reply will be useless without pictures.
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