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Question for Penn State football writers

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by chester, May 6, 2008.

  1. chester

    chester Member

    I work for a paper in Ohio which has a football player from our area playing at Penn State. I want to do a feature on him coming out of spring, and I call Jeff Nelson the week leading up to the spring game, and he says freshmen aren't allowed to do interviews until after the spring game.

    He tells me he has my number, and will try to make Joe Jockstrap available for a phone interview sometime in the week following the spring game. Never hear from him. Call him again recently and leave a message, reminding him of our conversation and I still don't even get so much as a return phone call.

    I know I've heard stories from others about Penn State being a pain in the ass to deal with, but is it always this bad. I mean, this kid isn't exactly a front-line guy, although he's supposed to be in the mix on defense this fall. I guess I could just go through the kid's parents, but we'd want some art of the guy, and I'm sure Nelson would be wondering why we'd want art if we haven't talked to him yet.

    I guess I'm just ranting more than anything else. I've NEVER had trouble getting phone interviews with a guy away playing football or any other sport in college. Untill I dealt with Penn State, that is.
  2. Stone Cane

    Stone Cane Member

    par for the course

    worst sports info department ever assembled

    they just don't return calls

    i was assigned a feature on a PSU kid who was about to be drafted - he didn't even have any eligibility left - and when sports info office never bothered returning my calls and emails, i just called the kid myself. he invited me out to campus and we spent the day together. late in the day, he was giving me a tour of the new weight room and one of the sports info people was in there and saw us. guess he saw my steno pad and figured out i was a sports writer, and he asked who arranged the interview. the kid yells, "I did," and starts laughing. I just looked at the guy and said, "Yeah, thanks for not returning my emails or calls."

    the sports info guy - not sure if it was Nelson - shouts, "Don't ask us for photos!"

    and I go, "I'm sure you wouldn't return my calls if we did!"
  3. wickedwritah

    wickedwritah Guest

    Joe sets the terms there. Nelson is along for the ride.
  4. chester

    chester Member

    The thing is, this kid figures to have four more years at Penn State (he was redshirted, obviously). He came from our primary coverage school, a school we've written about practically every kid who is currently at a Division 1-A (excuse me, FBS) school. He was a nice kid to deal with in high school, and we want to get something in about him now. It's just bullshit.
  5. imjustagirl

    imjustagirl Active Member

    Want me to put word out that you are not one to be fucked with?
  6. chester

    chester Member

    Go right ahead. :)
  7. Norman Stansfield

    Norman Stansfield Active Member

    That's good shit right there.

    Suck it, unhelpful SIDs!!!
  8. Wonderlic

    Wonderlic Member

    I was on this beat for a few years. They will not make freshmen available. Period. Your best bet is to go through the family and get the kid's cell phone number. Trust me.

    The parents might be able to help you out with photos, too. If not, it's not as big a deal for the school to hook you up with photos as you might think, if they have any decent ones available. Now if the kid has only played in the Blue-White game, that might be a problem. Just tell them you're looking for action shots and see what they can do.

    Also, you can always try asking the CDT or the Harrisburg Patriot-News if they've got any of him on file...

    There's always more than one way to skin a Jeff Nelson. :D
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