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My turn to rant: Lousy SIDs

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Idaho, Aug 30, 2006.

  1. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Non-revs usually are because it means publicity for their rarely covered sports.
    When you get into the football, basketball and hockey/baseball (north or south), that's when the fun starts.
    I've dealt with some great SIDs at places that usually get trashed, and dealt with ones that acted like it was a major deal for them to allow you to breathe the air at their university.
    One of the happiest days in my life was when one Big Ten SID decided he was going to retire..
  2. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    SIDs in non-revenue sports or at mid-majors or smaller schools are usually incredible to deal with.

    Why? Because they have to be. Most realize that and will do anything in their power to get a story in the paper. When I was a GA reporter and I went out to cover a volleyball game or a soccer game, they would treat me like royalty.

    If you're the football SID at a school like Florida or Alabama or Michigan or Penn State, you can shit all over the media on a daily basis and there's nothing anyone can do about it.

    It sucks, but that's the reality of it.
  3. Blitz

    Blitz Active Member

    They are usually young and often students themselves.
    They have the most to prove in the office and they are competitive with other non-rev help in the office.
    For sure, the non-rev media relations folks at most schools are usually very accomodating and very proficient.
  4. Lester Bangs

    Lester Bangs Active Member

    MEAC and SWAC SIDs — not a racial thing I swear, just the truth — are easily the most difficult to work with in the nation. They're great guys, but it has a lot to do with funding and, as a result, staffing. I know in the case of one SWAC school, the AD was also the SID until just a few years ago. Might still be happening for all I know. Called one looking for info on a project and was told they didn't have a fax machine. This was three years ago.

    Been dealing with a problem SID for some time now. Won't get back to us at all on non-revenue sports but insists that all interview requests go through him. I played along for a while and got nowhere, screwed our whole sked up because we were trying to "play by the rules," but finally said "to hell with it" and declared war. Tried to set up a series of features on non-rev athletes and put the requests into the SID as asked. As we expected, when the calls were not returned we called the non-rev coaches -- all hungry for any play -- and told them the SID in question did not get us the information/interviews we needed so the features were spiked. We've suddenly started getting our calls returned.
  5. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I covered a MEAC school for a while. If I wanted any information at all (like when is practice) I would have to get the coach on the phone. If I managed to get the AD or SID, they were worthless.

    Football and basketball coaches were super, though.
  6. Lester Bangs

    Lester Bangs Active Member

    My experience, too. I've had coaches answer their own phones maybe a dozen times outside in the BCS conferences over the years. Happens all the time in those leagues and there are no better coaches in the nation as far as providing info and willingness to just chat about what's going on. Often found myself trying to get off the phone.
  7. long_snapper

    long_snapper Member

    Years ago I covered a team in the CIAA. Or as I called it, the C-I-Trouble-A.

    SIDs were almost all horrible, but what do you expect on a Divison II budget?

    Covered a football game once in which the team I covered trailed by 28 points at the start of the 4th quarter, rallied to tie the game, gave up another touchdown, then tied the game again on the last play. This was pre-OT so the game ended as a tie.

    I go down on the field to do interviews, grabbing coaches, players, etc. because there was no formal post-game interview policy. Everybody was excited to talk about the game, a real classic. I take about an hour, return to the press box. Just as I sit down to write, the home SID asks if I'm done yet, because he wants to go to a homecoming party.

    I was four hours from home and had checked out of the hotel. Packed up my stuff and went and wrote elsewhere.
  8. Just_An_SID

    Just_An_SID Active Member

    I feel for the MEAC and SWAC SIDs because they generally have no resources to work with, which makes it real hard to get things done. They are also being paid next to nothing, which means that you aren't exactly getting the most experienced of people in the positions.

    The big schools. . . Florida, Alabama, etc., don't need to work hard to get coverage so what you are actually getting is all of their effort put towards limiting the information available to the media. Limited access. . . limited interview opportunities. . . it doesn't matter to them because you have to write about them.

    I've worked at big schools and small ones and I am usually in the situation of practically begging people to come cover our sports so I am usually going out of my way to help writers out (not that I wouldn't help them if coverage were abundant).
  9. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I helped cover a major D-I college early in my career and the SID was one of the best guys ever... Incredibly knowledgeable and helpful... Sadly, that's rarely the case at most major schools anymore...
  10. Appgrad05

    Appgrad05 Active Member

    I've had SIDs act like I should be honored to cover their basketball team. I also have had SIDs do such a good job on the stats (the last time .... stuff) that he almost convinces you, with his enthusiasm and knowledge, to make it your lede.

    The DIII SID in town is very nice and has a killer jump shot that has killed my team in the university/newspaper pickup bball game, but she sucks at her job. Of course, she doesn't really seem to care. I've never gone through her for an interview and have never heard one word from her about it. We had a newbie to the biz come in last year, was used to the SEC SIDs. He was terrified to just go up to practice and ask a softball player when she had a few minutes for a feature he was writing. It amazed me; amazed me even more when he told me he couldn't do that and didn't get his feature in on time b/c the SID never called him back.
  11. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Lester, the SWAC SID you mentioned, the one who was also the AD, I covered a game at his school once. Seemed like a nice enough guy, but it was hilarious that the halftime meal was some frito pies or something that his wife had whipped up. Between that and the constant swatting of wasps in his pressbox, it was quite an experience.
    The SWAC SID we dealt with more regularly was a total douche, though. Or, to be more accurate, a nincompoop. His team stayed in our town the night before most home games and he'd just drop off the press passes then. Usually, without including a parking pass. I could rant about this joker all night.
  12. Cosmo

    Cosmo Well-Known Member

    Guy's a helluva golfer, though. I'm glad I don't have to deal with him on a daily basis for work-related stuff, though.
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