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Volleyball coach threatened by parents

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Mooninite, Aug 27, 2008.

  1. Mooninite

    Mooninite Member

    Here's the deal.
    We have a volleyball coach (and her JV coach) that quit three matches into the season. Trouble is, the school and coach aren't talking as to why.
    I know why because I received a forwarded email from a well-respected ex-coach in our coverage area. The coach who resigned emailed the well respected ex-coach and told him that she was threatened by parents both verbally and in writing, thus the resignation. The well respected ex-coach sent me that email.
    Since the school and coach who resigned aren't talking, but I have the email and know why the resignation occurred should I use it? And how should I attribute the information that she was threatened?

    Any guidance would be appreciated...
  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    You can't use that.

    Can you tell the volleyball coach you have the email and ask about it?

    Do you know who sent the email?
  3. SixToe

    SixToe Active Member

    I'd talk with the coach and let her know you know about the threats to see if she'd open up about it. That's pretty serious.

    If the coach received the threat on a publicly-funded school computer, submit an FOIA request for all emails or other correspondences to and from her for the last X-number of months or weeks.

    Is there an investigation involving the local police, if indeed a threat was made? That may be why the school officials aren't talking. That's probably not THE reason but could be.
  4. spnited

    spnited Active Member

    Call the ex-coach who sent you the e-mail. He sent it to you for a reason. Ask him what his reason was.
    Call the coach who quit and ask her if, in fact, she was threatened by parents. She'll probably "no comment" you. Then tell her you know of this e-mail (don't tell her you have the e-mail unless ex-coach says it's OK to tell her he forwarded it) and see if she opens up about it.

    Even then you only have her unsubstantiated allegations about the parents so you'll have to go back to school officials...the higher up the food chain the better-- and try to get them to talk.
  5. Mooninite

    Mooninite Member

    Thanks for the input folks this is one of the reasons I heart SportsJournalists.com
  6. I'm going to disagree Ace,
    (If I'm reading this right) You can use the email. It purportedly was a communication between two coaches, one of whom forwarded it on to the reporter.
    If the reporter can verify the coach (the one who resigned) sent the email, great. If not, even still, the email can be used in the story.

    Coach Veronica Hotpants refused to speak to the Podunk Press about her resignation, but in email message to Hillbilly High coach Beulah Peckerwood, obtained but the Podunk Press, Hotpants stated she and JV coach both felt pressured to resign after being threatended by in writing and in person by team parents.
    Neither Hotpants nor school administrator Dean Wormer would comment or the resignation or the purported reason behind the resignmation,.

    This should be a last resort for the story... Sixtoe has some good starting advice.
    Also don't forget to ask the JV coach and the administration. Don't forget to try and get both sides of the story if possible - i.e. the parents.
  7. hondo

    hondo Well-Known Member

    Jesus ... do people care this much about prep volleyball?
  8. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    hondo, they care this much about t-ball.
  9. Mooninite

    Mooninite Member

    When you work 100 miles from the nearest pro or major college team, preps is what you've got. And when a coach quits in the middle of a season people want to know why.
  10. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    I mean you can't base a whole story around that email. Hell, she may have quit because she was ill and the email was an excuse.
  11. Mystery_Meat

    Mystery_Meat Guest

    and do we know for sure the e-mail was sent by the ex-coach? Could it have been someone who got hold of his password or a fake address?

    That's why I tend to be leery about e-mail communication -- with a phone call, at least you know the voice
  12. 21

    21 Well-Known Member

    I'd sure want to know what 'threatened' meant. Did someone threaten her physically? Did they threaten to get to get her fired? Demoted? Did they threaten to move their kids to another program? Was she actually threatened, or did she feel threatened? A threat to bash in her windshield is a lot different than a threat to petition for a new coach.

    As spnited said, you have an unsubstatiated claim. Maybe she wasn't honest in the email, not expecting it to find its way to a reporter. You have to know more before you can write anything.
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