Daily Skiff goes public with concerns

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So what can sportswriters do when they can’t get a straight answer from a coach? Explain the situation to readers. That’s what Texas Christian University’s sports editor William Wessels did when Horned Frogs head coach Gary Patterson refused to say whether a senior tailback would remain suspended for last Saturday’s game. He posted a column about the situation in this morning’s edition.

It’s one thing to not tip off opposing coaches and to dodge questions from a room full of journalists, but do the fans not deserve an honest understanding of the situation?

I get it.

Why risk losing your competitive edge on opponents for answers to questions that people who are spending time and money to support the Horned Frogs want to know?

Sometimes, angry coaches may refrain from speaking because they did not like a published story. At other times, athletic directors may refuse to hand over public documents. By and large, most coaches and ADs are reasonable people (at least, in my experiences). But, there will be times when sportswriters will need to determine whether to apply public pressure, an action that exacerbates a situation. So, first, try to resolve problems privately, calling in a third party to help. If that does not work, consider going public. Check out how TCU’s Daily Skiff handled their frustrating situation.

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One Response to “Daily Skiff goes public with concerns”

  1. redsoxmaniac Says:

    I was wondering; is there a difference between certain schools that have a more popular level with bigger papers, such as ASU or North Carolina? I was wondering if there is an extra reason why coaches might refrain from talking to multiple publications, or a smaller one ( such as the college newspaper ) when they are already offering up their views with a paper such as the LA Times.

    I was just wondering, since the exposure of our football team at our school is so small you would see our coach at Wal-Mart on occasion.

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