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Ever get threatened by a coach?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Scribbling, Nov 7, 2006.

  1. Scribbling

    Scribbling New Member

    I wrote a column published yesterday on a major DI program in which I questioned a coaches play calling. I didn't think I went over the line, but I just wrote about the obvious. A member of that coaches' staff called my publisher today to complain. My publisher talked to me about it (and he didn't think I did anything wrong). I offered to call the coach, but my publisher wanted to handle it.

    Anyways, my publisher called him back after the second conversation and the staff member proceded to tell him that he and the head coach were going to "ruin" me. They are apparently saying that they are going to go to the athletic department and make sure I have no access whatsoever in the future and that no one ever talks to me again.

    First, I'm shocked at the vindictive personalities of this coaching staff. Second, I'm shocked that a coach of this regard would go off the deep end because of a one column. Third, I'm not too worried about my relationships with others in the athletic department and other coaches.

    But has this ever happened to any of you and how did you handle it?
  2. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Most importantly, make sure your SE, EE and publisher have your back. If you work at a paper in a college town, unfortunately, that might not be a given...

    Show up and do your job normally. Don't hesitate to ask the coach questions as you normally would. This is your way of showing you can move on, and if he can't, he'll just continue to look like an asshole.
  3. SoSueMe

    SoSueMe Active Member

    I had to call a coach for a story from afar (they were eight hours out of town and on the bus ride back). Coach refused to answer his cell - four times - after the loss.
    The GM was on the bus, though. And he answered his phone and said the coach "was too busy analyzing video-tape." I asked for five minutes with the coach and was told "no" several times.
    The following sentence appeared in the story: "Coach So-and-so refused comment because he was too busy analyzing video-tape," according to GM blah-blah.

    The first the thing the coach did at practice the next day is apologize for not taking my call.

    Imagine if all your stories from here forth said "coach refused comment several times, despite being asked to comment."

    The public will wonder what HIS problem is. Not yours.
  4. Clerk Typist

    Clerk Typist Guest

    The good thing is that your publisher was involved immediately, so he knows how over the line the staff is. Just keep reporting, and make sure your paper is ready to report your were excluded from a practice / news conference / game if that's the case, or even if the school attempts to do so.
    And if there are any personal threats again your person, remember that verbal threats are technically assault, and remind those making the threats they've crossed a different line.
    Meanwhile, the other stuff regarding the student intern and freelance writer sounds like column fodder to me. Go for it.
  5. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I love the story about how Furman Bisher once called Vince Dooley and asked him what student reporter was the biggest pain in the ass...

    When Dooley told him, Bisher hired him...

    I've heard rumors that the hire was Schlabach, but I have no idea if that's true...
  6. HoopsMcCann

    HoopsMcCann Active Member

    considering schlabach covered goff, i'm guessing it wasn't him
  7. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    I've had coaches threaten to shut me out more than once. I'd say 90 percent of the time, if you ignore the threat and do your job as before, it will be forgotten in a matter of days.
  8. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    Happened to me once.

    Personally, I let the coach go. I waited until the season was over and then went after the rest of the staff. I killed their kids, I killed their wives, I killed their parents and their parents' friends. I burned down the houses they lived in and the stadium they worked in. I killed people that owed them money. And like that I was gone. Underground. Nobody has ever seen me since. I became a myth, a spook story that coaches tell their staffs in the film room at night. "Act unfriendly with the media and Bigpern will get you."
  9. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    Yeah, but wasn't Dooley still AD after he stopped coaching?
  10. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Never had a coach physically threaten me in this biz, but I did have a coach come thiiiiiis close to punching me out when I was umpiring 13-14 year-old baseball. I was 17 at the time, he was a parent-coach, and he was completely out of line.

    As for Scribbling's situation, just do your job as normal. The second you let a coach intimidate you, he's won. So go back to practice, ask the questions that you normally would, write your stories as you normally would. ... If they won't talk to you, print that instead. And keep printing it -- they'll get the message.
  11. Ledbetter

    Ledbetter Active Member

    Bisher called then-sports information director Dan Magill and the writer was Lewis Grizzard.
  12. MCEchan36

    MCEchan36 Guest

    Who is on this joke of a coaching staff so I know to be wary of these guys in the future.
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