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Sitting on recruiting news

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by MeanGreenATO, Sep 2, 2016.

  1. MeanGreenATO

    MeanGreenATO Member

    So this is something I've been thinking about for a while and figured writing a post on SJ was better than writing for the people who pay me.

    Among the recruiting portion of Twitter, there is a notion of sitting on news of where a recruit is going to "commit" to until the player tweets out the info himself. The logic behind the practice stems from preserving the recruit's moment and not stealing his shine. If you know for certain, do you put the information out there or do you let the kid rake in all the social media love?
  2. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    You re-assess your life and wonder why you're hanging on the whims of 17-year-old athletes. :)
  3. da man

    da man Well-Known Member

    "Commitments" don't mean shit anyway.
    cjericho likes this.
  4. JC

    JC Well-Known Member

    I don't understand the thought process behind not reporting it. It's your job.
  5. reformedhack

    reformedhack Active Member

    Depends if you've made an agreement with the recruit himself/herself to wait until he/she announces his/her commitment. Otherwise, if you have news, you report the news.

    (Then you take a step back and ask yourself why on God's green earth some people actually consider this Big News that warrants ethical introspection.)
    Doc Holliday and HanSenSE like this.
  6. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    OTOH, how do you know for certain the kid is going to commit?

    From the kid/parents? From his high school coach? From the college coach?

    I would say 2 out of 3 of those sources are highly suspect when it comes to commitments -- maybe 3 out of 3.

    I don't see it as sitting on news. I don't think it IS news until the player announces it. Then it's news of questionable merit.
  7. PaperClip529

    PaperClip529 Member

    There are exceptions to this rule, but I don't see the benefit of stealing a kid's shine. It possibly burns bridges with a kid and a coaching staff, and - as some may know - the fan bases aren't always thrilled when they think you took a kid's moment. And for what? A story on Joe Football giving a non-binding committing to State U without any comments from Joe Football? Yea, I will wait.

    In some cases, the "We report the news when it happens" argument is tired. This is one of those cases.
  8. Southwinds

    Southwinds Member

    This topic is asinine. Of course you report it.

    If a college coach is telling you the kid committed, he has already committed and chosen not to go public with it.

    If a kid is telling you he committed, he has undercut himself.

    If a high school coach is telling you he committed, he's doing it to get publicity for the commitment.

    Should the kid want to "have his moment," he should not tell anyone and have his elaborate hat ceremony and then commit afterward.

    Anyone who has covered college beats knows what a big deal even that two-star left guard from Nowheresville, Illinois is.

    And anyone who has covered high schools know how big of a deal it is that the left guard at Nowheresville, Illinois is going to play in college.

    Unless you're told specifically that the information is off the record, it's free to do with it as you wish. Of course, you know that.

    If you choose to sit on it, in these days anymore, someone else is likely to report it. Then you can deal with your higher-ups, your community and your peers looking askew at you for knowing something and not reporting it.
  9. JimmyHoward33

    JimmyHoward33 Well-Known Member

    Problem is the kid could lie to the coach, either the high school or college coach could lie to you, or they could easily be mistaken if the kid changes his mind. It's all non binding until they sign anyway. If you're 1000 percent sure you don't sit on it but it's not truly possible to be that sure without the kid him self saying it.
  10. Deskgrunt50

    Deskgrunt50 Well-Known Member

    I'd never sit on anything that's actual, verifiable news.

    That being said, I'm glad I don't have to cover recruiting any more. It's been a long-ass time since I've done it. I recall it being a total cesspool and a nightmare. Lots of agendas.
  11. MeanGreenATO

    MeanGreenATO Member

    Ha! I know that's how people feel about recruiting, but the truth is recruiting news drives an insane amount of online traffic and a good way to gain exposure for a young writer.

    But the stealing of shine is the real debate here. There really is no benefit to cover recruiting anymore because the kids break everything themselves, and reporting on their feelings is something nobody should be doing.
  12. HanSenSE

    HanSenSE Well-Known Member

    A lot of it starts with the universities too, I imagine. A a little more positive PR never hurts. But go ahead and call me old school, but how do you generate a story out of Johnny Doubledribble tweeting "Proud to say I've got an offer from Podunk Tech."
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