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Covering recruiting

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by TheMethod, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. TheMethod

    TheMethod Member

    I'm a newspaper beat writer covering, essentially, two programs (football and men's basketball) in a really high-interest market. Currently, I cover recruiting the way I cover, like, track & field -- I only run the really noteworthy stuff. I run commitments, non-commitments of the high-profile guys and I track the local kids. I feel newspapers should cover recruiting better, but I, for one, don't have time to compete with Rivals.com.

    So how much time should we devote to recruiting and does anybody have any good ideas for covering it?
  2. pressmurphy

    pressmurphy Member

    Unless you have a tight relationship with the recruiting coordinator, there are better uses of your time than doing anything more than cursory coverage of the local school. There are too many potential recruits out there for you to be tracking by yourself. You need the RC to give you a heads-up when stuff is happening. Of course, that requires that he trusts you to not burn him.

    I was covering a football team from 75 miles away in my writing days and still managed to beat the in-market dailies because the RC helped steer me in the right direction on the condition of never, ever identifying him and always calling the recruits or their H.S. coaches with the excuse that I was just checking in on their status.
  3. melock

    melock Well-Known Member

    I use Rivals to keep up with recruiting. Covering a team that isn't really near my paper makes it hard to follow the program on a day-to-day basis. Each DI school has a publication that covers it for Rivals. Mine does a good job. And anything I get I credit to them.
  4. John

    John Well-Known Member

    The RC of the team I cover sends me a text message every time someone commits, along with their cell phone numbers, and also gives me a list of everyone that's coming in on visiting weekends. Makes my job a lot easier.

    At the same time, he's the excitable type who thinks each commitment deserves a 15-inch story.
  5. MU_was_not_so_hard

    MU_was_not_so_hard Active Member

    Last beat I was on, I had that same relationship with the basketball RC. Football, not so much. I often got a lot of questions as to why I was the first to have basketball committments while I usually didn't know the football ones.
    Like someone else said, as the lone beat writer covering football, basketball and baseball, it wasn't really feasible to try to track down all of the committments.
  6. Beach_Bum

    Beach_Bum Member

    The RC of the school I covered used to let me come in the coaches' office and copy all the info off their big board. That way I'd know the kids they were recruiting at each position and the order of priority. Helped a lot as I'd know the kids not to waste time on and the kids to contact and know more about. The board had phone numbers of a lot of the kids too.
  7. John

    John Well-Known Member

    The only good thing about covering recruiting is that it can get you loads of players' cell phone numbers, most of which won't change when you go off to college. Never know when those are going to come in handy.
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