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"discilpinary reasons"

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Smallpotatoes, Feb 24, 2007.

  1. BillyT

    BillyT Active Member

    Just: In Small's case, the coach did say it.

    I do get your point.
  2. pressboxer

    pressboxer Active Member

    Is this any worse than the juco basketball coach who told me his starting center was out of the lineup with "flu-like symptoms" when she was pregnant?
  3. giantjay25

    giantjay25 Member

    The other night I used these exact words.

    Coach told me the kid showed up late to school that day, and that's why he didn't play.

    That was followed by the words, "but do not print that," to which I respectfully obliged.

    No problems. Certainly no libel.
  4. Flying Headbutt

    Flying Headbutt Moderator Staff Member

    Depends, was she going through morning sickness?
  5. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    giantjay ... what's your answer if this kid's dad comes to you and asks if the coach said his kid was benched for disciplinary reasons?

    Because, although you and I both know that's what he meant, that's not what he said. And that can become a very sticky point if push comes to shove.

    Libel? Of course not. You've got plenty of defenses. But I think you see what I'm saying.
  6. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    A friend of mine once got caught in an awful deal where a female volleyball player, a minor, had been suspended for breaking "team rules." He went with what the coach told him in a story.
    So the next day he's getting all these phone calls and angry e-mails from both sides. See, it was a "Christian" school and the girl had actually gotten pregnant and basically she had been keeping it secret from her parents, but she finally got to the point where she couldn't practice. She goes to the coach teary-eyed to spill the beans and the coach says she has to tell the headmaster and then all hell breaks loose. The private school said it was an honor code violation and didn't allow her to finish the semester since, you know, she was a whore and was at a public school that same week of telling her coach.
    So the paper and the writer gets caught in the shit storm since some say that the paper was painting the scarlet letter on her and was ruining her life for good.
    But she has the baby, and by then the basketball season is going and she wants to play hoops. She was also really good. A college caliber type athlete, but since she was a mid-season transfer she wasn't eligible, but her parents put up a fight and the state association had to give her a special waiver to play basketball that season.
    But the paper again gets caught in a shit storm since some of the readers said the paper shouldn't be covering the state association mess.
  7. JRoyal

    JRoyal Well-Known Member

    These are stories that at times you're screwed if you do, screwed if you don't. Report the girl's pregnant, you're a dick. Don't report it, you're ignoring the truth. Sounds to me like the whole saga makes for a nice tale of the hypocrisy at some Christian schools and the trials that feamale athletes go through when they become pregnant as a teenager. Which is a story that is worth telling sometimes. My rule of thumb is if the girl tells you she's willing to let it be printed, print that she's pregnant. If not, then go with some other reason, "out for medical reasons" being my favorite. Sure, it's non-specific, but with teenagers, I think it works fine. And yeah, anyone with any intelligence could figure it out. Still, it's the best you can do other than ignoring it, which if the girl is a star you can't do.

    Anyway, as for the original question, if a coach won't go into detail, which they often won't, then you go with whatever he said. But always try to get more detail. If the coach won't give it to you, see if you can talk to the players on the side. The coach might get pissed, but you might find out why they're out. And as someone else posted, make sure the coach realizes that if the players are out because of something that happened in a game and he wants you to say "disciplinary reasons" that readers are going to jump to the conclusion that the kids were busted by the cops for stealing cars and selling them to a chop shop so they can get money to buy ingredients for the meth lab that they're running out of the gym basement. Damn athletes and they're meth labs.
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