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How much is not enough?
Posted by Norman Dale on Thu, Jan 17, 2013, at 12:10 PM:

Since there is no place to comment under the article, I thought I would start a thread to get everyone's opinion.

http://www.standard-democrat.com/story/1...



Replies

It was a good article but I don't think he was honest when he said he didn't have a specific case in mind.. there are 2 obvious known cases of why this probably crossed his mind but I agree you can't mention names

-- Posted by Thot McGee on Thu, Jan 17, 2013, at 12:48 PM

Regardless of whether he had someone in mind, does a newspaper outlet have a greater responsibility to protect the identities of teenage boys (who in many instances could be charged with felonies) from their sports related news? I honestly don't know the answer to that question. What I do know is that it all comes out on these forums regardess of what the articles say.

FYI, the references to felonies is not to imply that any kids are guilty if any wrongdoing, but rather to show that they are old enough to answer for their actions.

-- Posted by rocketsbro on Thu, Jan 17, 2013, at 12:57 PM

now now just whot are you saing rocketbow? just hows do you know that they is some wongdoings Bucko? do you now evything Bucko?

-- Posted by bearcat1forall on Thu, Jan 17, 2013, at 1:26 PM

You totally crack me up bearcat1forall. Your post brighten my day.

-- Posted by NOMOball on Thu, Jan 17, 2013, at 1:44 PM

I think that they are still teenagers and should be treated as teenagers. If I see a "star" sitting the bench I may wonder why but I don't keep going until I find out. If my son played and for some reason was suspended I don't think everyone in the world needs to know why. People put too much pressure on high school kids to be perfect. I'm pretty sure none of us are. If we were fired from our jobs would we want to be outed in the newspaper just because ppl were curious? I say just report what he sees at the game not what goes on behind the scenes. But that's my opinion I'm sure others will totally disagree and that's ok

-- Posted by TFA on Thu, Jan 17, 2013, at 2:13 PM

I would think that a newspaper could only report things like that if it was "official". It could only be official if it came from a school official. Anything else would be rumor and possibly slander/liable. Schools are bound by federal law (FERPA) with protects a students educational record. Better be VERY careful.

-- Posted by Swish on Thu, Jan 17, 2013, at 2:46 PM

Thought it was interesting read, especially since I cover sports for a local paper.

-- Posted by Matt Duckworth on Thu, Jan 17, 2013, at 3:05 PM

I agree with TFA and Swish. Its not everybody's business. I think our local print media has pretty good judgement on whats good for kids first, as a parent or coach some details on things should be private.

-- Posted by semo ref on Thu, Jan 17, 2013, at 3:27 PM

Why can't they just say a kid is academically ineligible? They don't have to give the specifics.

-- Posted by Jolly Dump on Thu, Jan 17, 2013, at 4:00 PM

FERPA prohibits school officials from disseminating a student's academic record, but does not prohibit a newspaper from printing leaked information. The first amendment protects the media. It would only be libel/slander if it wasn't true. Newspapers report "non-official" things all of the time and should continue to do so. "Johnny Student failed chemistry" could easily be proven a libelous statement, but "Sources say Johnny Student failed chemistry" is a lot less likely to be proven to be libel.

Nonetheless, no need to drag a kid or school through the mud, but mentioning someone did not play or that someone is no longer on a team without details of why wouldn't be inappropriate in my eyes. All of that stuff gets talked about on these forums anyway.

-- Posted by rocketsbro on Thu, Jan 17, 2013, at 4:03 PM

I'm with Jolly Dump. Why can't they just say the kid is not academically eligible to play? Going into more details about that is a little much. That should be a good enough reason why.

-- Posted by Cheesehead. on Thu, Jan 17, 2013, at 4:10 PM

The people that need/want to know that kinda stuff are usually the very ones who would come unhinged if it were about their kids. Do you know the story about The Old Yellow Dog? Go read TMZ for your "leaked" fix. Criticize the kids of today if you like... Then take a look around at what the adults in our society clammer for!!!!! No wonder this country is in the shape it is.

-- Posted by Swish on Thu, Jan 17, 2013, at 7:07 PM

FERPA also includes discipline, drug testing results and any other info that is not considered "directory" information.

-- Posted by Swish on Thu, Jan 17, 2013, at 7:13 PM

I'm not saying that its right, but it's just the way it is. As long as there are people, there will be gossip.

-- Posted by rocketsbro on Thu, Jan 17, 2013, at 8:12 PM

When a child decides to play a sport he doesnt also choose to be in the public eye as was written in the article. We are the public eye who should be respectful of a kids private life. What we should do is ask the coach, his job depends on all of the little barry's of the team. If coach says its private, ask the parents or he failed every class, we leave it at that. When an athlete is paid to play then its everyones business, so let the press tell us all about the game and let the coach,family, and kid worry about his private life. If they deem it to be our business they will let us know. Just the thoughts of a former player and current father of one college, one highscbool and one middleschool athlete.

-- Posted by squawdad on Thu, Jan 17, 2013, at 8:13 PM

We are not talking about gossip. We are talking about what a newspaper should be reporting.

-- Posted by Swish on Thu, Jan 17, 2013, at 8:21 PM

I agree squawdad. Well said.

-- Posted by Swish on Thu, Jan 17, 2013, at 8:22 PM

Where do you think the newspaper gets the information? If they shouldn't have the information legally, then they get it from gossip. There's not much other explanation.

-- Posted by rocketsbro on Thu, Jan 17, 2013, at 8:33 PM

Squawdad, what about college kids? they aren't "paid" and their business is reported. And what does getting paid really have to do with it? Lots of people get paid and make mistakes and get fired and sign confidentiality agreements and nothing is ever reported in the news.

-- Posted by rocketsbro on Thu, Jan 17, 2013, at 8:37 PM

So this thread is should our local papers print gossip about high school athletes?

-- Posted by Swish on Thu, Jan 17, 2013, at 8:44 PM

No, the article was about whether a newspaper should print gossip. The thread is about what you think about that.

-- Posted by rocketsbro on Thu, Jan 17, 2013, at 8:54 PM

Yes rocketsbro as you move up from highschool to college the accountability level increases for players, and though you are not paid, you recieve scholarship money and more attention and people feel as though they have a justified interest in your life, to some extent they may. I guess this issue is not can we but should we know about and discuss the athletes private life as well as the press report about it . Its a moral thing to fans and a money thi ng for a newspaper( gossip sells) everyone draws the line somewhere just not all in the same place.

-- Posted by squawdad on Thu, Jan 17, 2013, at 9:29 PM

Personally, I think there is way too much "not covered" in the area of local high school sports, to justify delving into player discipline, suspensions, etc. Unless "illegal" actions by coaches and/or players are involved, I see no point of dragging out every case of players being benched, etc. I think the focus should be on the young men and women who are "playing" the games.

-- Posted by semo7178 on Thu, Jan 17, 2013, at 9:52 PM

I agree. I don't think every aspect of a players life needs to be part of the discussion. Nonetheless, people will always talk especially when there is an absence of information. It's how rumors get started. If a starter was riding the pine, people will notice. If a starter is all of the sudden not on the team, people will notice. Moreover, people will dig for information and post it on forums. Welcome to the age of social media.

The best lesson to learn from it is to try to live your life in a manner that doesn't draw negative attention, but when you do, be ready to own up to it.

-- Posted by rocketsbro on Thu, Jan 17, 2013, at 10:37 PM

If we're going to "report" about what high school athletes do or don't do in the local newspaper, then are we going to do the same with band, choir and the drama club? They're in the public eye. It doesn't matter if the local newspaper reports it or not. Someone will still get on here and say they know what really happened or they know someone who knows someone that really knows. At the end of the day these are high school kids who are going to do stupid stuff because we all did something stupid in high school.

-- Posted by Fatboy1972 on Fri, Jan 18, 2013, at 2:55 AM

I enjoy the work that Chris and a lot of other scribes do in covering prep sports. But I am going to have to disagree with his take somewhat here. I don't think a player's academic, health, legal, or behavioral record needs to be aired in public. Even if it is legal to report in print, it really should not be considered ethical. First off, if it wasn't stated "on the record" by school or team officials, then it is rumor or conjecture.

Let me give an example. If a player sits out with a sprained ankle, most would not question if the coach told the reporter and the reporter told the public. If the player is undergoing tests for a serious heart condition, or something else of a longer-term, more serious nature, should that be shared? That is getting pretty questionable. But...it's still just a medical condition, so what is the difference? What about if they have voluntarily entered treatment for substance abuse? Mental health issues?

I understand that all media outlets have to make tough decisions on these issues. The issues are not always clear cut, either. I just think they should err on the side of privacy.

I am of the belief that interscholastic athletics should only be reported on when it is of a positive nature. If it is critical of players, coaches, schools, etc., then don't cover that team or sport. Unlike college or pro teams, they will roll on just fine with no media coverage at all. And I think that is where a big line should be drawn: major college/ pro teams are dependent upon revenue generated from fan interest, etc. The team/program, along with the media outlet, both are dependent upon coverage for their success. High school teams are not- in other words, the media outlet benefits from the coverage WAY more than the school.

Sorry this is so long. Interesting topic. Thoughtful discussion so far.

-- Posted by Lippy Radeck on Fri, Jan 18, 2013, at 8:22 AM

Rocket, fatboy and lippy - all great posts. But rocket's statement about living your life in the right manner is spot on.

You three have shut the door on this topic for me.

-- Posted by Swish on Fri, Jan 18, 2013, at 8:37 AM

Having worked as a sports reporter in a former life, I can tell you first-hand this is something that this is a dilemma that every reporter struggles with. The question of what to report and what to "let go" is constant. In the end, it comes to this - if you can get something official on the record via the coach - you go with it.

Example - star basketball player is in uniform, however, he does not play that night. It is the reporters responsibility to at the very minimum as the coach why he did not do so. The coach may have "no comment" and that is what the reporter should quote. It may be something as simple as he was "feeling ill" and the public would want to know.

In another example - let us say that he was being punished for getting into a verbal altercation with a teacher earlier in the week and was serving a one game suspension for doing so. All the reporter has to report at that point is that (star player) was suspended for a game due to breaking team rules. As the reporter it is not mandated that he go into the reasons why - as "team rules" lets the reader know that he was healthy, but in some type of trouble.

There are those here that will argue that the reporter should not even put (star player) was out for breaking team rules as that is a personal situation that should not be aired. I would argue that you can not have it both ways. We are a society that heaps special attention on those that have special talent.

Many posts on semoball cry out for more coverage of their local team, players, etc. If something negative happens, the same people want it buried. I would argue that you simply can't have it both ways.

-- Posted by TommyHerr on Fri, Jan 18, 2013, at 8:53 AM

Great thoughts and insight. Personally, I think the newspaper should just report the game and leave the players personal lives out of it. I don't think mentioning that a player was absent or did not play should be out of bounds, but notwithstanding a direct quote from a coach or a school official, the player's academic, health or disciplinary record should be left out of it. Our hunger for information needs to be curbed, not fed.

-- Posted by Norman Dale on Fri, Jan 18, 2013, at 2:30 PM

Agree with I am legend...in high school sports...just report the events on the field or the court. I don't even like the quotes from players....and no need to even comment on those who did not play. Just report the events.

-- Posted by gobler on Mon, Jan 21, 2013, at 2:56 PM


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