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High school coaches ripping officials in interviews?

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

  1. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    I really don't care. I don't know what state athletic association rules are in each state; I think in Texas a coach can be reprimanded for speaking about officiating but I'm not sure if he can be suspended.

    But remarkably, in 7 seasons of covering Texas prep football, usually into the 15th and 16th weeks, I cannot recall ever writing about an official's blown call which cost a team the game, or quoting a coach thereabout.
  2. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    In Alabama, they can be fined for speaking their mind.,
  3. shotglass

    shotglass Guest

    See, what's being missed here is that high school coverage is NOT the same as college or pro coverage. You don't hang out a high school official to dry. They don't make enough money for you to do that.

    The whole argument about "well, the readers would want to know it" ... well, maybe your readers might want to know the same of the 12-year-old who booted the ground ball and cost his team the city championship. And sometimes, you've got to use good judgment.

    Equating the coverages is a good recipe for trouble at some point.
  4. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Maybe it's newsworthy, but maybe it's the coach trying to cover his own ass in the papers. AD asks about the loss and he can say, "Did you see the paper? Even the reporter knows we got screwed by the refs."

    And if you do decide to let the coach rip the refs in print, then you are obligated to try to get some response from officials. Good luck.

    In my years of covering preps, my mention of officials was to clarify a key call that many fans did not understand or to address some specific controversial call. It was rare.

    Oh, and I'd say when someone tells you what you should put in your story, they are good ideas about 1 percent of the time.
  5. Terd Ferguson

    Terd Ferguson Member

    Gotta go off instinct in cases like this and I'd say you chose correctly.
    If a specific call (or a handful of them) obviously turn the outcome of the game, then then I'd see nothing wrong with asking about it and printing it. When a coach just wants to bitch about officiating (oftentimes trying to mask something he/she screwed up) it has no place in the story.
  6. Something similar just happened to me last weekend...at least I had to determine whether to write about a coaches attitude after a game or not.

    For the record, I'm not much for coach's quotes following a game. The reasoning is that many times, the game isn't viewed any differently from the sidelines, than from the stands (or press box). There are many scenarios when it's necessary to visit with a coach immediately after a game, so it's a pretty flexible rule for me. In this case, I had about 20 minutes to bang out a good-sized gamer so any quotes were good ones. Typically, I like to rely on player quotes. They are more willing to talk if they appreciate your credibility and they have the best view of what's happening at critical times.

    The coach didn't respond very professionally to: 1. my presence, as he felt I was late (I was speaking with a player while he was finishing up with other writers) and 2. the first question I asked, which got one of the strangest responses I've heard.

    I told the coach, thanks for trying, but nevermind and walked back to finish my story.

    I used the quote, as it was indicative of the guy's attitude and the fact that he was acting like a jack-ass. Any coach that complains about officiating in an emotional tirade isn't much of a coach and people should read about that and make the determination themselves.

    In my case, the reporting of the coach's response ended up being very timely.
  7. txsportsscribe

    txsportsscribe Active Member

    >>>But the quotes he gave me were really strong, including

    "I don't want those guys to ever come to my field again."

    So isn't it a story when they're as strong as that?<<<

    if that's you idea of a really strong or colorful quote you're in for an earful if you stay in this business. if one coach i previously covered carried through on that same quote he would've run out of officiating crews. a high school coach bitching about the officiating after a loss isn't news, it's tradition.
  8. mannheimadler

    mannheimadler Member

    That wasn't all he said. That's just what I remembered off the top of my head and I didn't have time to transcribe them.

    "I'm just really tired of these referees and the way things seem to be one-sided. There's times when I know they hate me as much as I hate them. I don't know what they're doing on my field, and when I can see and everyone can see they make a call on us and then the exact same thing happens and it's not called on the other team, what else is a coach supposed to do at any level, he is going to be frustrated. Then when a referee tells me that I swore at him and dropped the F-Bomb face to face, I really don't think I'm that stupid that I'm going to call that knowing I'm going to get a flag. And so there a referee is telling me what I said. I just have problems with referees that can't be consistent. I tell them I don't care if it's on my kids or on the other kids, as long as it's the right call, make the call. But when you start missing calls, or not calling it because you're mad at me or because I've pointed out something, I don't know where to go with this referee so if anyone out there can tell me what I'm supposed to do with this referee situation, I'd love to know. This crew tonight, I don't want any of them back on my football field because I get screwed every time."

    That's what I meant. And there was more. Such as "that's bullshit" and such.

    As for why I posted it on here, yeah I'm fairly new to the business. That's why I came looking for advice from people who have been around and I think I got it.
  9. ronalong

    ronalong Guest

    Sometimes. Last spring during the regional basketball playoffs in
    Alabama, the coach of a 5A school which had won back-to-back state titles this decade, went on a tirade after a loss in the round of 16. He said the officials didn't call the game fairly and said, "Just give me a chance, just call it both ways and be fair. But it wasn't today." I never heard that he got fined for those comments.
  10. awriter

    awriter Active Member

    If a crucial call went against the coach's team, then by all means use the comment -- and get the refs' side. Otherwise, it's like Rasheed Wallace getting a technical and refusing to comment afterward; it happens all the time.
  11. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    In my experience, it can be hard to get the refs' side. At least on deadline, anyway. After the game (especially football), those guys break for the cars like an inmate fleeing prison. They're ghosts. They're also usually from a different city, so it's hard to figure out who they are or where they're from right away.

    As for the debate, I go with the consensus. If the calls were a key play,use them. Otherwise it just sounds like bitching on the coach's part.
  12. Oz

    Oz Well-Known Member

    Not near enticing enough for the game story. Maybe for a sidebar, maybe for a follow, but not near enough to bog down any game story for that.
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