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The college commitment/signing news conference

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Mr. X, Feb 10, 2008.

  1. Mr. X

    Mr. X Member

    Some of my colleagues have called the news conferences where a high school player announces his choice of a college high among the worst things imaginable. (Many of these colleagues do very little or no high school or recruiting coverage.)

    I find these news conferences far preferable to the system of a coach saying "I'll call you" or "I'll call you at 11," because invariably, those calls never come at the time promised and I find myself chained to the desk, fearing that if I left to go to the bathroom or eat, that is when the call would come, then I would have to hope against hope that I would get my call returned.

    With the news conference, I know there is a 99 percent chance the athlete will be there at pretty close to the time promised, which I far prefer to waiting for a call.
  2. In Cold Blood

    In Cold Blood Member

    The high school football coach of the team i spend the vast majority of my time covering wouldn't return my call if I called to tell him he won the lottery. When I do get him, he acts like I just asked him if he's cheating on his wife every time I ask a question.

    Anytime the AD wants to put me in the same room with the coach and a player rather than me having to waste my breath on 10 voicemails that will go unreturned, I'm all for it.
  3. Stone Cane

    Stone Cane Member

    they have these new portable phones now where you can actually take them with you when you go to the bathroom or to eat or, really, anywhere where you go

    they're called cellphones and i think they're gonna be real big in a few years!

    actually, i'd say - and this doesn't apply to just signings - but from a journalistic standpoint, no presser is always preferable to a presser. if you have the contacts you should, you'll get the story without some AD setting up a press conference
  4. Blitz

    Blitz Active Member

    the end of the sentence, which began "The college committment/signing news conference ..." should read as follows:

    "is garbage."

    I hope I never am assigned to attend another one.
  5. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    I don't understand why everyone hates these things so much. They're incredibly easy.

    "Joe Smith always imagined the roar of 100,000 while growing up playing football in Ypsilanti.

    Now, he'll have the chance to do that.

    Smith was one of 24 players who officially signed with Michigan on Wednesday, making his announcement known at a press conference held at Eastern Hills High School. He chose the Wolverines over offers from Pittsburgh, Akron, West Virginia and Ohio."

    etc. etc.

    Easiest 12 to 15 inches ever.
  6. God forbid you have to work hard at something
  7. Blitz

    Blitz Active Member

    Uhhhhhhh, let's see
    What hat will I put on? Uhhhhhhhhh.
    I am a superstar in rent-a-car.

    Give me something, give me something.
    Now, now !!
    Free books ??? Tutition ??

    That's not what I'm talking about. I don't want those things.
    Here.. give my mama something free, too.

    Instead, I submit, simply sign your papers, talk to the local press, and get these other 4,000 mo-fos back into the classroom instead of a free day

    God, I hate those kinds of events.
  8. If I see/attend one more "press conference" where some 17- or 18-year-old punk sits at a table with three hats and -- oh, the suspense -- picks one and puts it on, I'm gonna start swinging and not stop until both he and every member of his family and/or school is on the floor.

    No court in the country would convict me.
  9. NatureBoy

    NatureBoy Member

    I guess I'm lucky. In the neck of the woods where I used to cover preps, I can't remember one kid who didn't verbally commit before signing day. That's probably why I don't look at those pressers with as much disdain as some of you other folks do.

    Though I will admit it's never fun to cook up any more than eight inches on the four kids at one school signing with Division III Podunk Valley State.

    (I know, I know ... Podunk Valley went Division II three years ago, but you get the point.)
  10. BillySixty

    BillySixty Member

    What if you have to write a dozen of those? There's only so many times you can write about how a kid felt comfortable with his future teammates and enjoyed the campus before you, your editor, and the majority of your readers pull their hair out.
  11. Not true. If you work at a college town paper, these will be the biggest Web hit success stories there are. Recruiting commitment stories are the Paris Hilton stories of sports coverage - fluff, but readers go nuts over them.

    Actually it kind of makes sense. For the vast majority of readers, it's the first time they've heard of the kids. I think a lot of us get jaded because we've heard of the kid on Rivals.com and Scout.com for a month before the commitment happens, knew his "finalists," and had a good idea of which way he was going to go. But most readers, believe it or not because I know it seems like they are, still aren't that rabid. They want to know where he's from, what position he plays, how he did this year in his high school season, what the kid looks like and what he said about their school, even though it's usually ridiculously mundane.
  12. pressmurphy

    pressmurphy Member

    Yeah, but the story gets a lot of hits whether it's written off the news conference or in some other setting. I think the point of some of the responses here is that the staged press conferences are drearily predictable.

    It's far better to work the kid and HS/college coaches hard leading up to decision day so that you get the story without having to endure yet another staged event. You sometimes end up doing the world a favor by scoring the scoop because it can cause the staged event to be canceled altogether.
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