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High school coaches ripping officials in interviews?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by mannheimadler, Oct 12, 2006.

  1. mannheimadler

    mannheimadler Member

    I was covering a high school game in a small town tonight. It was an important game with a home playoff game on the line.

    Toward the end of the game, the losing coach got in a very heated argument with the officials and was given an unsportsmanlike penalty.

    After the game, as I was interviewing him, he asked me if I could print quotes about the officials, then went on about a two- or three-minute tirade about them.

    He gave me some really colorful quotes, but I didn't use them. We had a tight deadline and it was a solid win for the other team, so there wasn't one big call that shifted the balance of the game. There was a disparity in the penalties (10 to 5) but one of the teams really isn't very good, and three of those penalties were personal fouls at the end of the game.

    My question was, should I have used the quotes? Or did I do the correct thing in leaving them out?
  2. e4

    e4 Member

  3. NoOneLikesUs

    NoOneLikesUs Active Member

    Use 'em. He had strong feelings about it and just maybe the officials had it coming to them.

    His potential punishment is not your worry.
  4. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    For starters, since it's high school I'd give the coach an out. Ask him to repeat it and if he's sure he wants to say it for print.
    If the answer is yes, go ahead. You've given him the out,
  5. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    Imagine that ... losing coach bitches about officials...now there's a story
  6. mannheimadler

    mannheimadler Member

    See that was one of the things I was wondering about. There were a couple of missed calls, specifically a pass interference play and a player who stepped out of bounds — I saw them myself. But as I said, I didn't think they changed the game and coaches rip officials in the media all the time.

    I also felt a little uncomfortable that it seemed like he was campaigning, almost saying "If I say this, will you print it?"

    But the quotes he gave me were really strong. So isn't it a story when they're as strong as that?

    I couldn't do it in a sidebar. Though it's an important game for the two teams, they were both really small schools (two of the smallest in our readership) and I was lucky we devoted the space for as long of an article as I wrote.

    This is a coach I've worked fairly close with all year long, and I've never seen him that angry — or colorful in an interview on quotes — before.
  7. dragonfly

    dragonfly Member

    I generally don't print comments about officials from HS coaches unless there was a key call in the game. It's not to protect the HS coach though. In my experience, HS coaches whine about refs in about 90 percent of their losses. It the same old story everytime and I don't think its relevant to the readers unless I saw the critical play and there was some controversy to it. I see it along the same lines as a golf coach complaining about the wind... If it happens in nearly every game, it's not really news.

    There are exceptions, of course, but for the most part, I let it go.
  8. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    Sorry, mann, that is not exactly a great quote.
    There is usually no reason to use a coach's generic bitching about the officials.
    If he wants to cite a specific play and say we got screwed and that cost us the game...OK... other than that, is just bullshit.
  9. mannheimadler

    mannheimadler Member

    Thanks for the advice. I think I agree with what you said.
  10. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    Good to see a newbie show proper respect for his elders! ;D
  11. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    From the man who came into sports writing when Clair Bee was a rookie coach... :D
  12. mannheimadler

    mannheimadler Member

    I guess we've all got to start somewhere, don't we? ;-)
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