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Reporting a fight on school property between player and coach

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by naturenick, May 29, 2015.

  1. naturenick

    naturenick New Member

    Need help reporting a story that fell into my lap today.

    Heard from multiple sources that a fight broke out in the high school weight room between a player and a coach. It was the football coach and the quarterback (who just graduated). They are also father and son. It apparently happened with multiple kids in the weight room and that two other coaches had to break it up. The kid is a starter on the high school baseball team, which is currently in the playoffs.

    Haven't heard of any police incident filed and I haven't reached out to school officials for comment yet. It's a small town paper and I doubt people will go on the record.

    Also, if it means anything, I did a handful of articles on both father and son and am friendly with the family.

    Really lots of stuff of here and don't know if/how to get it. Any advice?
  2. If no police report was filed; the school isn't getting involved with punishment; and no injuries occurred ... I'm really not quite sure it's even a story worth publishing.

    You should do your due diligence in checking with a coach/school official, though.
  3. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    This. If there were no arrests or school punishment, then it basically boils down to a family squabble. A bad family squabble that might indicate bigger issues at home and on the team, but a family squabble nonetheless. I'm all for good reporting and enthusiastic journalism, but in a small town especially you need to be mighty careful wading into that hornets nest.
    Kayaugstin Kott likes this.
  4. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    If the head coach is getting into physical altercations with players, I have a hard time seeing how that isn't a story worth publishing.
  5. naturenick

    naturenick New Member

    Would ignore this if it happened on family property, but it didn't. My biggest concern is that it allegedly happened at the school in front of kids. Sub in a different player or coach, it seems like this would be a different story.
  6. Matt Stephens

    Matt Stephens Well-Known Member

    In addition, sounds like you didn't see the fight, but heard from other sources. I doubt they're trying to steer you wrong, but if the school/those involved aren't going to comment, then the story boils down to "so-and-so said coach and a player got in a fight in the weight room." I'd be more open to reporting it if you were there to help provide context to what started everything.

    Your report would basically be an unconfirmed report, which isn't really something you want to be reporting.

    I agree with LTL about this perhaps being a bigger issue with how the coach is treating players, and if it happens again, then it's probably worth some significant digging, but at this point, you want to be very careful.
    Last edited: May 30, 2015
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