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Who's responsible?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by spikechiquet, Apr 15, 2007.

  1. spikechiquet

    spikechiquet Well-Known Member

    I had this come up over the past girls volleyball season. Who is responsible for getting the information.

    We start to set up the "All-Area" Team for a team pic. We release the names of the players to area coaches, asking to be at certain place at certain time for this team pic. Local fringe coach calls to bitch that we picked the wrong players from her team (expect her daughter, of course...she deserved the honor).
    There were sisters and we picked the younger one. Both play, both were good, one was a So. and the other a Sr. She was irate!
    She then preceeded to tell me that all we did to pick the team was call one of the other fringe coaches in our coverage area and he told us who to pick (mind you, Coach A hate Coach B, Coach B doesn't hate her, but knows she is a B-tch...with a capital "B"). Of course, we picked the team (myself and my staff writer) and of course, according to her, we only picked local girl Z because she was a player from the "local" city that we are based in.
    In fact, she said 4 or 5 of her girls deserved to be on the All-Area Team. Mind you...they are fringe at best! She threw about 10 different things at me to bitch about (we didn't give them much play when they beat Team B (in the semis of a weekend tournament), but made a HUGE deal when Team B beat them (for the Conference Title) the weekend before...etc)

    After we get to the ordeal of getting info (we went with the best info we could find, most not from her) from coaches, she tells me that WE are responsible to get the info on HER players. I of course, beg to differ.

    So after being chewed out for over 30 minutes and I heard all the cliches, I end up seeing Coach B (who also his school's AD) and we shoot the shit about it.

    He says that as a coach, he is part-time teacher, part-time promoter. And as AD, it's his job to promote his school. If we as a news outlet don't get the info (to make decisions about All-Area teams, for example), it's not our fault.

    It's either the coaches or ADs responsiblility to get that info to us. We shouldn't have to be knocking down doors or calling coaches to get this stuff. I agree with him.

    Any naysayers to differ? Just curious.

    PS, Coach A's team lost the next weekend in the State Tournament and Coach B's team made it to the Finals.
  2. Breakyoself

    Breakyoself Member

    when we do all-area teams, i call every coach to get stats. i believe it is then their job to get back at me. I may try a couple times to make sure I get in touch with everyone, but sometimes i miss out on a few. i think we have to initally try to gather, or to let them know we need their info and when, and it's up to them to help as well.
  3. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Well, not every coach is a mind reader. You shouldn't have to kidnap their family and hold them for stats in lieu of ransom, but it doesn't hurt to touch base with them either. If they still won't send it, then fuck'em. Don't pick their kids for all area, and when the calls start coming in explain to the caller, "Well, we'd heard this guy was good but we hear a lot of things. Unfortunately, Coach Dipshit couldn't or wouldn't provide us with stats so we couldn't compare him to the other guys and see how they measure up."
    It's passing the buck, sure, but it's also the truth.

    When we do all area, we ask for stats and maybe a few nominations (especially in sports we're not knowledgeable in, like soccer, or for some of the area football teams we rarely or never see). Everybody gets a phone call or two, but if they don't respond there's not much you can do. The nominations are kind of a courtesy, and they help make sure we don't look stupid. Like leaving off an offensive lineman who signs with a D-I school or makes an all-state team in favor of a guy who made an all-district team.
    Then, when people ask how we pick the team, we can honestly say "We look at the stats and talk to coaches, then get together and make the final decisions." And ALWAYS stress that last part.

    Sounds like your big mistake was getting the whole team together for a picture. Might make for a different look to the page, but it also opened the door for all of the bitching and headaches beforehand.
  4. spikechiquet

    spikechiquet Well-Known Member

    We send out nomination forms to all the coaches beforehand. We also try to have the coaches send in stats all season (both to run in the paper and for our own sake). Of course the ones that don't, don't get as much "pub" when it comes to these teams.

    I guess I forgot to mention that point. It's not like I am just sitting here "waiting" and hoping a coach thinks of us. I do my legwork early in the season. If a coach doesn't want to "play ball" the way we want too...then Boo Hoo for them. Right?
  5. John

    John Well-Known Member

    Many of us have been through similar shit, which is just one of the reasons why I fucking hate all-area teams.

    Pick a player of the year? Fine. But the minute you start making lists, the parents of little Jimmy and Janie are gonna get all pissed off that their beautiful, innocent, percent second-stringer didn't make it.

    Like others here, I could rant for a while on this subject with little provocation.
  6. BigJim5190

    BigJim5190 Member

    For our prep all-star teams we have a coaches panel for football, soccer, basketball, baseball and softball. I want to choke myself every time I have these meetings.

    We have three divisions for those sports, so we can't base the team off, say, postseason performance (ie Team A wins title and gets two players, etc.). I try to pick coaches who know the players, have been around awhile and are also league reps or at the very least respected by their peers. Every season, the Monday after the team is announced I field the calls from coaches, ADs and parents.

    Not meant to hijack the thread, but what's a good way to select a 12-player prep team from about 50 some-odd prep schools? I mean, you're always going to have some discussion about who should and shouldn't be on the team, but I'm trying to minimize the damage.

    For sports like track and such, we take the players that qualified for the state meet. Those sports are easier because when a parent calls and asks why their child didn't make the team, I can just say, "Well, they didn't do so-and-so" Not much of an argument after that.
  7. spikechiquet

    spikechiquet Well-Known Member

    Please do, I love to hear from the rest of the SJ brotherhood. I am tottaly against All-Area teams, yet if you don't have them, people bitch.
  8. spikechiquet

    spikechiquet Well-Known Member

    For wrestling, we take the most wins per weight class or the best winning percentage between two kids if they have the same win total

    For track, we have a huge end of the year meet (the Tuesday before States) for the area and only the best times get to go to it...so the winners there are unofficially the "All-Area Team"

    For Cross country, we just run a listing of the top runners, no need for a "team"

    For almost all the other sports (VBall, Bball, Ftball, Soft/Baseball, soccer), we do the picking with coaches input with stats and nominations
  9. chazp

    chazp Active Member

    I have an easy out for this. I send out forms which allow the coaches to vote on the team and POY. The nut graph in each story clearly states the team was chosen by the coaches (I do break ties from time to time and I pick the COY), anyone who calls up to complain, I always tell them to talk to the area coaches about it, they picked the team. Damn, I love telling people that on the phone, they become almost apologetic about it. I love it. No more complaints!
  10. Meat Loaf

    Meat Loaf Guest

    As the only full-time writer to cover high school sports (and that's when I'm not pitching in on the college beat), if one school wants to make things difficult ... fuck 'em. There are 28 other schools willing to play along.

    Especially if it's a 1A program trying to big-time us. Double-fuck 'em.
  11. Tom Petty

    Tom Petty Guest

    "big-time us." i will use that fucking line (often) at work if it's the last thing i do.

    thanks newbie.
  12. Meat Loaf

    Meat Loaf Guest

    No problem. I'll put it on your tab.
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