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New FWAA president is mad as heck

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Pulitzer Wannabe, Feb 3, 2008.

  1. Memphis C-A's Ron Higgins writes about diminishing access and control-freak football coaches.

    Any coach who says, "I respect you guys (the media) and the job you do" is a flat-out liar.

  2. Good for him. Ron's a great guy and great writer (and no, I'm not him). Hopefully he can change some of the current culture, but I doubt it.
  3. Shaggy

    Shaggy Guest

    I love the enthusiasm and hope a change is made. But the FWAA president opens his tenure with a similar column every year, it seems.

    But he's right. College football coaches are douchebags.
  4. I'm always embarrassed when something big is happening on our beat and news side gets involved and starts asking questions and pushing for stories.

    "Have you talked to the coach?"

    "He's unavailable."

    "Well did you call him?"

    "I talked to the SID."

    "But did you call the coach personally???"

    "They don't want us to do that."

    "What do you mean 'they'? Do 'they' sign your checks? What about the players? Have you tried to reach some of them?"

    "They're only available on Wednesdays at 5 p.m., for 10 minutes with an SID standing there monitoring the situation."

    "Who says?"

    "The coach and the SID."

    "Well maybe you should start trying to call them."

    "We can't."

    And so forth and so on.

    And the news people are 100 percent right. We should be ashamed of ourselves. But you bang your head against the obstacles so many times, you just become docile because it just starts to feel like it's not worth the fallout.

    I'd love to see a nationwide boycott of control-freak coaches and their policies, but we have pretty much no leverage. Fans don't even think we should break stories against the schools' wishes, let alone complain about what they consider an "honor" on par with being elected a U.S. Senator, covering the team.
  5. SockPuppet

    SockPuppet Active Member

    I totally agree, but let's turn the tables on your scenario:

    Ask news side if they have personally "talked to President Bush" or any other high-ranking official or if they're stuck with taking statements and talking to "spokes people."
  6. Good point. I think that some of the news people don't quite grasp that sports people can be as inaccessible as politicians and other newsmakers. They think of it, consciously or subconsciously, as the "toy department," and can't believe how many layers you have to go through to talk about, essentially, something they think of as frivolous entertainment and little more.
  7. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    I think your scenario happens, Pulitzer, but if you're a NFL beat guy, chances are you have the cell numbers for a lot of players and possibly the number for the head coach. It's not something you use often, but if it's serious enough, absolutely you can, at the very least, try to get those people on the phone.
  8. hockeybeat

    hockeybeat Guest

    Somewhere, Jim Leavitt is shaking uncontrollably.
  9. DD - College here.
  10. Double Down

    Double Down Well-Known Member

    My bad.

    Though I think the same rule applies. I covered major college football for a few years. I had the coach's cell, his wife's cell, and a few players' cell phones. I'd even been to his house, so if shit hit the fan, I could drive to his place and sit on his front porch.

    But I realize that's a little different if it's Nick Saban you're covering.
  11. Shaggy

    Shaggy Guest

    I've called college football players on their cell phones many times. They're all programmed. 99 percent of the time, the response I get is "I'm not allowed to talk, you have to go through the SID."

    So it's not as easy as outsiders want to think it is. Period. And then you have the head coach, who is more guarded from the public than fucking Castro.
  12. Yeah, that's the problem. It's not that you don't want to cross the school or are taking orders from them. It's that you know the players are under strict orders. Any time we've ever called a kid when news breaks, you have the SID calling you or your SE within five minutes to read the riot act. The kids have clearly been told to immediately report an incident.

    Higgins' column, of course, doesn't necessarily make things any better. But it's always good to feel like people share your frustration, since the rest of the world, from family and friends to lunatic fans, are tell you how "lucky" you are to "get to go to" press conferences, etc.
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