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Once players graduate/leave

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Pulitzer Wannabe, Feb 15, 2008.

  1. Once your guys go to the NFL or NBA, how much do you keep covering them? Pop in when they come within a couple hundred miles of campus for a game? Cover their draft stock up until draft day, then kind of give them away like a bride to pro beat writers? Try to break contract negotiation stories (which feels damned near impossible against the pro guys)?

    Just wondering how other college guys handle this.
  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Re: Once players graduate


    Cover till draft day, pop in after.
  3. MU_was_not_so_hard

    MU_was_not_so_hard Active Member

    Pretty much what I've always done.
  4. Jake_Taylor

    Jake_Taylor Well-Known Member

    I think it would depend a little on how tied to the community these guys are.

    At Kansas a lot of guys that end up in the NBA wind up making their off-season home in Lawrence. Those guys seem to pop up in the Journal-World quite a bit because they are around and they are still prominent citizens in a fairly small city. Even though Paul Pierce is the superstar you're more likely to see a feature on Scot Pollard because he lives there.

    But will a guy like Michael Beasely ever set foot in Manhattan, Kan., again after he goes pro? Are you going to spend a lot of time and money covering a guy that stopped through town for nine months.
  5. joe_schmoe

    joe_schmoe Active Member

    We don't do as much as we should here. With high school to college guys we will follow up with Where/What they are doing now type stories and do features on some prominent guys. But once they hit pros, we don't do much other than make not of where they are, how they are doing, etc...
    It's not always easy if you don't have a pro relationship with a club already. It's not like you can call the Philadelphia Eagles and say, I'd like to speak to Brian Westbrook. It often takes days of phone tag, timing and scheduling just to get 5 minutes of phone time with a guy you used to know inside out. It's not as hard if 1) he still uses the same cell number he gave you 3 years ago. 2) you still know his parents or family that lives in town. or 3) his HS/college coach is still around and talks to him.
    But a lot change their cell numbers, their parents often move and/or change their phone numbers and the coach hardly ever talks to the guy.

    It's not always very difficult, and some office staffs are a lot easier to work with to set things up than others at both college and pros. In the Big 12, I've found Texas Tech and Oklahoma very accommodating and great to work with and Baylor, for the most part, is too. UTexas, not so much.
    But again, these are just my experiences. Gladly, I've not had to deal with Tech basketball.
  6. PaperDoll

    PaperDoll Well-Known Member

    I'm not a college beat writer (or a guy ;D), but I can tell you how my paper handles its locals when they grow up.

    We have weekly college roundups that appear with the high school notebook for the corresponding sport. Those can be as simple as a recap of Local Yokel's 15 points or Area Man's eight goals, or they can be full features. We also sometimes do separate stories for significant occasions, like when two sisters were going to face off in field hockey or a swimmer qualified for the NCAA Division I meet. A lot of that's dependent on whether we actually know about something far enough in advance -- hi, shameless promoter Mom! -- and if the reporter has the extra time.

    We don't have too many local grads who are now professional athletes, so whenever any of them come back to the area either to play or make an appearance it's a big deal. Usually the reporter who covered the guy (and I'm pretty sure they've all been guys) handles an advance and then the game-day story, which tends to focus more on what people from the area think about seeing their hometown hero.

    Also, anybody local who winds up in an AP roundup usually gets a headline. The handful of pros aren't a big deal. Everybody on the sports staff knows who they are, so if anyone spots a story with a hometown name we point it out. It can be a headache for deskers during the football season, because we've got kids at some far-flung D-I programs as well as a bunch of in-state schools that wind up on the local wire.

    We have some current and former pro athletes living in the area now who didn't grow up here. Some of 'em have made it into the paper, but I think that's usually in the context of their new jobs as restauranteurs or owners of car dealerships, etc. I don't think we've written about anybody who lives here in-season yet.
  7. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    What they said, unless they're from the coverage area or they come into town to speak at a clinic or banquet or whatever ...
  8. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    Everytime a local guy is mentioned - NBA round-up, golf story, etc. - we always put in the player's name followed by his hometown (Jason Kapono of Long Beach scored 24 points...). There's an occasional feature when the local college guy plays a game near our closest NBA city/when the writer decides he wants to check out a pro game for free.

    Other than that, little else. But the draft is a given.
  9. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    I haven't really covered anyone who's made it big in the NBA yet.

    Though that might change eventually...

    I think I'd probably pass 'em off like a baton. Unless I happen to have the kind of relationship with a player that suggests I might still be able to talk to him (or her) after he or she's graduated.
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