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Letting a coach off the hook

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Smallpotatoes, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    Tonight, when I was making roundup calls, I called one softball coach to get results of this afternoon's game.
    She said she'd prefer it didn't go in the paper. Her team won but the score was kind of lopsided. How lopsided? So lopsided she wouldn't even say the score.
    This bothers me. The game happened. It happened in a public place. A win went on one team's record and a loss on another. The stats count. There's really no reason it shouldn't be in the paper. Besides, the other team, the losing one, is not in our circulation area. What is the likelihood that people in that community would read about the game in our paper?
    Ultimately, because I had so much else to do, I figured it wasn't really worth going to the mat over this. Sometimes you just have to pick your battles.
    Yes, I let her off too easy, but is there a good way to let the coach know regardless of the outcome you still need the information without making a federal case out of it?
  2. Rhody31

    Rhody31 Well-Known Member

    Tell her if she's not going to give results, you won't run any in the paper.
  3. e4

    e4 Member

    there's a potential story here. is it so bad, something along the lines of a 100-0 basketball game, that she's fearing possible repercussions? maybe not, but when she refuses to give the score, you have to at least find out what it is.

    call a parent, the AD, the opposing coach, the opposing AD, a groundskeeper, the state athletic association, another paper that covers the losing team, plenty of people know the score. easiest way to avoid this in the future is to assure the coach that the score will be in the paper, through one of these venues, whether she's going to make your life difficult or not. she'll probably just give you the score instead of wanting a reporter to be pissed off at her.
  4. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    Yeah, had a local baseball team that won 33-0 last week. And it wasn't the first time.

    In the past, I have gone through alternate sources to get the score and pertinent details. Cause, yes, it is a matter of record and you can publish that without any intent to humiliate anyone.

    once was at a softball game --- a district playoff game where both teams had clinched spots in the state tournament --- where the losing team "forfeited" while trailing 21-2 after four innings. Just walked off and said they didn't want to play anymore, like a default in tennis.
  5. Fredrick

    Fredrick Well-Known Member

    I know what you mean about picking your battles, but you do have to find out the score to make sure like everybody said, it wasn't 55-0 or something.
    If the coach does it again, time to fight the coach on it big time. And if the score was 66-0 you have to write about it.
  6. greenlantern

    greenlantern Guest

    I have to agree. She has to decide what better: her team getting in the paper or "protecting" the losing team.
  7. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    You can't let them off the hook. Either your take all scores or you don't take any.

    You explain that you are a newspaper and the scores are news that people expect to see. No matter the score.

    (Then if it was a 60-0 rout you can write a column blasting the coach for piling on.)
  8. mediaguy

    mediaguy Active Member

    Yeah, I think you tell that coach you're going to get on the phone and call the other coach if he/she won't give you the score. There's naive, and then there's childish.
  9. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    And we wonder why people don't care for newspapers if reporters can't even get a softball score.
  10. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    I found a score on the paper that covers the losing team's Web site: 16-1. Not sure if it was the real score, but I'm asking around.
    There are some things I just don't understand. I know running up the score is generally frowned upon around here and if it looks like that's what happened, the coach is likely to have some explaining to do, but wouldn't the AD already know what the score was whether it was published or not?
    What's the worst that can happen? I understand that you never know who reads the paper, but I doubt people from the losing team's community are likely to read it. All that could happen is the local readers might think, "Gee, that school must have a lousy softball team."
  11. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Running up the score is not frowned upon so much in baseball/softball. In football you can clear the bench and keep the ball on the ground. In basketball you can slow down the offense.

    In baseball/softball, you can't make the other team throw strikes and you can't tell your hitters not to get a hit.

    And, theoretically, you can come back from any deficit. There is no clock. So the game isn't over even if it's 9-0 in the final inning.
  12. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    16-1 is nothing.
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