With Bill Young’s departure to Oklahoma State now official, will Dawg fans be more disappointed if Miami doesn’t make a run at Willie Martinez, or it does, but Georgia takes the necessary steps to keep him in Athens?
Daily Archives: January 20, 2009
You might recall a story that recently popped up on the New York Times’ college sports blog, The Quad, about the recruitment of Jamarkus McFarland of Lufkin, Tex., who gave a verbal commitment to the University of Oklahoma.
That story rather sensationalized certain parts of McFarland’s recruiting process, particularly at the University of Texas – but keep in mind that was based on the kid’s own description of what he claimed to have experienced. Needless to say, Mack Brown was less than pleased over what was published. Matters became somewhat more strained when McFarland acknowledged to rivals.com that some of the details he relayed to The Quad were “spiced up”.
The Times being the Times, eventually this sort of “he said, he said” stuff catches the eye of the paper’s ombudsman and we get treated to a rather tortuous nitpicking of the reportorial process.
… The Times asked McFarland to clarify his conflicting remarks, and after two days, he sent a text message that cleared up nothing. It said he had respect for Evans, that his school paper was written “to capture and inform my audiences,” and “I stand by this story and I have moved on.”
Adams said that since The Times article was published, her son has been the target of racial slurs from angry Texas supporters, and she said she would not let him talk to reporters in the future. But she defended Evans’s story. “An article was written, and I was very well pleased with it, and that’s that,” she said.
What really happened? I asked Evans how much he pressed for independent verification of the party. He said he asked for the name of the hotel, and McFarland could not remember it. The reporter did not ask who invited the young man to the party, who accompanied him or who else might have witnessed the lurid events.
Evans said that in retrospect, he could have done more to get independent corroboration of the party. But he said that McFarland and his mother had never misled him during their long association…
It seems to me that this is the sort of problem to expect when mainstream media decides to dip its toe into the new media waters of the Blogosphere. Evans winds up in a sort of virtual no-man’s land with a story that had it appeared in a typical college football blogger’s post would have gotten some attention without being questioned too much – after all, the fact that McFarland did say those things about Brown’s program isn’t in dispute – that instead opens up questions about his journalistic integrity due to the story being published under the Times’ auspices.
And, no, I’m not saying I know what the right answer is here. The Times has a reputation to protect that’s far different from a blogger like me publishing anonymously, that’s for sure.
But the irony of this hasn’t escaped me, either.
I meant to comment on this bit of news last week…
… Teaff, talking at the AFCA annual convention, said the review coincides with the final year of the Fox television agreement with the BCS. ESPN takes over after next season. He said issues would include… whether to make the vote that goes with the final BCS standings in December anonymous again and whether the poll would even remain part of the system.
If that’s an either/or call, I hope the coaches pick Door Number 2 before picking Door Number 1, especially given the rationale for going back to anonymous ballots.
… As for possibly going back to having every vote anonymous, Teaff said professional pollsters have told the AFCA there will be a more honest vote if the balloting is done without being attached to a name, as the final December vote is that helps determine the teams who play in the BCS title game. He said coaches might feel pressure to cover themselves with their conference teams.
Brian Cook nails that specious BS for the pile of manure that it is. And the serious credibility problem it raises.
… The only thing worse than having a group of people suffused with naked self-interest vote on who should be in the national championship game is having that group of people do so anonymously. The coaches poll shouldn’t be allowed to participate in the selection process unless it’s willing to publicize their ballots, period. If that causes coaches to cover themselves with conference mates, the issue is not the open ballot, it’s having vast conflicts of interest in your pollsters.
If Mack Brown or any other coach is serious about killing the BCS as quickly as possible he’ll take the opportunity provided by the final ballot of the year and, for example, vote Texas #1 and not vote for Oklahoma at all. Coaches poll = dead…
The thing is, using that example, Mack in all likelihood doesn’t have to leave the Sooners off his ballot entirely. He just has to rank Oklahoma low enough to make a difference – in part because Bob Stoops doesn’t vote in the coaches’ poll.
The coaches’ poll is biased enough with the final regular season ballots made public. (Just ask Hal Mumme.) If these guys can’t trust themselves to cast their votes wisely and honestly, why should we?