Posts Tagged ‘Independent Alligator’

Crimson White, Daily Texan blitz coverage

December 5, 2009

The Crimson White produced a terrific publication previewing today's SEC title game.

So what are college newspapers saying about three big games set for kickoff today?

Florida vs. Alabama

The Independent Alligator offers a story that is filled mostly with overview and background. The ‘Gator also includes several columns along with a podcast where football writers preview the SEC Championship game. Decent content. But nothing spectacular for a game promoted as ‘the game of the millennium’ on the podcast. Columnist Mike McCall says he’s pulling for several teams (Texas Christian, Boise State and Cincinnati) to win so there will be added pressure on college football officials to create a playoff system. Good luck convincing those greedy, self-serving league officials to change the system, Mike, but keep trying.

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Life and death in a small Fla. town

September 13, 2009
The Michigan Daily's Andy Reid traveled to Pahokee, Fla., to learn more about the challenges several Wolverine players faced while growing up. Photo/Max Collins Design/Lan Truong

The Michigan Daily's Andy Reid traveled to Pahokee, Fla., to learn more about the challenges several Wolverine players faced while growing up. Photo/Max Collins Design/Lan Truong

Football saves lives in the impoverished town of Pahokee, Fla., which is much farther away from ritzy Palm Beach than a map would show. A town in the midst of sugar cane fields and marshes, Pahokee is also a place that takes lives at an early age. Gangs recruit kids, called ‘jitterbugs,’ to transfer weapons and money around town. As one kids says: “There’s nothing to do here. It’s easy to get into smoking weed, robbing, they even started killing around here.” Yet, it’s also a town that dominates state football, winning five championships over the past six years.

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College SIDs, newspapers clashing over access to players

October 23, 2008

Before Sarah Jones can interview an athlete at Fairleigh Dickinson University, she must contact the athletic department and let them know about the scheduled meeting. As sports editor of the Equinox, Jones is required to cite the date, time and place where she will interview the player.

At the University of Texas in Austin, reporters are usually limited to speaking with athletes brought to press conferences after basketball and football games. During this time, sports information associates may even tell players: “You don’t have to answer that.”

More and more, sports information directors are trying to control access to players and coaches, requiring journalists to schedule interviews through their offices in what the SID at Baylor calls “hard-and-fast rules.”

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Where are the weekend updates?

September 21, 2008
The Independent Alligator posted 1 game story, 3 sidebars and 1 blog online about Florida's football game this weekend.

The Independent Alligator posted 1 game story, 3 sidebars and 1 blog online Saturday about Florida's victory over Tennessee.

The Independent Alligator blew out its coverage of Florida’s easy victory over Tennessee, one of two big Southeastern Conference football games this weekend. (I guess when you have five teams in the Associated Press top 10, your conference will have plenty of big games each week.) The Independent Alligator filed a gamer, a sidebar on running back Brandon James, two other siders and a live game blog (glog). By far, the best weekend coverage by any college newspaper this weekend.

But I am always a little perplexed why a staff would not devote some resources to cover other weekend events. Florida’s student newspaper clearly has the resources to cover sports during the weekend, yet the staff did not file a story on the Gators’ equally amazing performances in cross country. The Gators’ men and women each blew away the competition in the 20th annual Mountain Dew Invitational. The men even took the top five spots for the bare minimum 15 team points. The women scored 17 points.

The Independent Alligator does a terrific job covering sports, as I have noted before. However, sports staffs need to start posting updates for other sports as well, especially if the newspaper has enough sportswriters to do so. Football is not the only sport during the weekend. College newspapers should also file stories on soccer games, cross country invitationals, and volleyball matches through the weekend. Still, the Independent Alligator is far ahead of most other college newspapers in offering weekend sports updates. Tennessee’s Daily Beacon Online has not updated anything for almost a week.

Several other schools failed to offer any sports updates during the weekend. The Daily Bruin did not post a gamer on the Bruins’ 31-10 loss to Arizona but they did post a live-game blog (or Glog). Not sure why this coverage extended through only three quarters, though. You also cannot find any sports updates from the following college newspapers – South Carolina’s Daily Gamecock, Connecticut’s Daily Campus, Alabama’s Crimson White, Oregon State’s Barometer, the Michigan Daily, the Daily Texan, Notre Dame’s Observer, Southern Cal’s Daily Trojan, Kansas State Collegian, Auburn Plainsman, Wake Forest’s Old Gold and Black, and the FSU News, to name just a few.

Here’s how a few other college newspapers covered sports this weekend.

■ The Daily Reveille relies on an Associated Press story after No. 6 Louisiana State defeated No. 10 Auburn 26-21 victory in a late-night game. But LSU’s newspaper also offered a live-game blog throughout the game. The Auburn Plainsman did not have any coverage as of late Sunday morning.

■ The Daily Kansan did a great job posting a variety of information online after the Jayhawks thrashed Sam Houston State, 38-14. The staff posted a live-game blog, a photo gallery, a podcast, and a game story. However, the gamer did not include the score. … The Daily Skiff offers a solid gamer on Texas Christian University’s 48-7 romp over Southern Methodist, which earned the Horned Frogs the Iron Skillet.

■ Cash Kruth does a great job assessing the reasons Michigan State ran over Notre Dame in a game story that is both well-written and well-sourced in the State News.

■ Penn has not defeated Villanova since 1911. A fumble in overtime prevented the Quakers from finally prevailing in this rivalry. David Gurian-Peck keyed on that play to write a solid game story in the Daily Pennsylvanian.

Virginia Tech scored 17 unanswered points to rally past North Carolina, 20-17, a game the Collegiate Times covered well. The Daily Tar Heel, meanwhile, posted a short basic gamer.

■ The Daily Collegian offers a great deal of updated weekend sports information. Penn State’s newspaper tells readers that five tennis players advanced in a tournament and that Joe Paterno watched the Nittany Lions’ rout of Temple, 45-0, from the press box. Apparently, he hurt his leg the week before. They even posted an update after Florida State’s loss to Wake Forest, something that enabled Paterno to become college football’s winningest coach for at least a week. The newspaper did a fine job offering updated sports results but the staff might want to consider expanding these gamers in the future.

■ In the Daily Eastern News, Scott Richey posted a solid game story on Eastern Illinois’ 25-21 victory over Illinois State that focused on key plays and included comments from coaches on both teams.

■ Houston’s rally fell short against Colorado State, but the Daily Cougar did not. Houston’s college newspaper posted a story on the Cougars’ 28-25 loss in Fort Collins, Colo., that included the key facts, key plays, and comments from key people. … Oregon also failed to recovered from an early deficit in losing to Boise State, 37-32, a game the Daily Emerald covered on Saturday.

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Tebow is even scarier this season (and other college sports stories)

August 29, 2008
The cover for the Kernel's Pigskin Preview

The cover for the Kernel

If you think Tim Tebow surgically cut apart football defenses last season, watch out. Florida’s talented quarterback learned some additional skills while circumcising (!) kids in the Philippines last summer. Think UF’s center will feel a little uncomfortable this season?

The Kentucky Kernel offers a pretty impressive football preview on its website that includes terrific photos, player profiles, capsules of each SEC team, and schedules. Would have liked a more in-depth overview story. The one posted relies too much on a few sources. But, still, the capsules and other features make this a pretty solid package for readers.

The Wisconsin Badger Herald does a nice job reporting on a new trend in Big Ten football, that the spread offense is now run by nine of the 11 conference members. Derek Zetlin interviews not only Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema, but also Illinois coach Ron Zook and Purdue coach Joe Tiller, among others.

Ball State sportswriter Andrew Walker does a nice job scouting opposing teams set to face the Cardinals’ volleyball squad this weekend. The story could have offered more insights had the reporter talked with some opposing coaches, but, still, not a bad analysis piece. … The Daily News Online also posted a slide show on its football season opener last night.

Would have liked additional sources beyond an Arizona’s football coach and player in the Daily Wildcats’ ‘opponent analysis‘ posting. Sportswriters need to speak to as many coaches and players as possible to offer a clearer, deeper, and more accurate report.

The Northern Star covered a simulated football game, using EA Sports 2009. Interesting. For some reason, I could not click into the simulation itself off the website, though.

The (Duke) Chronicle offers a series of stories on its football team that addresses offense, defense and special teams. Not a bad start, but, once again, insufficient reporting hinders such stories.

Love Texas sportswriter’s first (and, apt) name: Austin. He speaks with several players about the team’s volleyball rematch with Southern Cal. But remember: school names get a singular pronoun. Texas needs ‘itself,’ not themselves.

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