Saturday, July 14, 2012

Sports Media | Here's how to own sports coverage

From today's New York Times Page One: "Joe Paterno got richer contract amid Jerry Sandusky inquiry."


  1. First, I respect that it is journalism's time to demonize Penn State and all things "Joe Paterno".

    Second, while the exposure of the Sandusky crimes and portions of Mr. Paterno's contract negotiation may have occurred somewhat simultaneously, nothing in this article suggests the timing was any more than coincidence.

    So, to be honest, it all sounds like a pretty typical high end contract negotiation. How would this compare with what we might learn about Drew Brees' new contract, or (pick your favorite college coach or major league ball player)? What would you expect a Paterno contract to look like? It was still millions short of what other collefgiate coaches make after no more than 1-2 years at their schools.

    Paterno should be properly criticized for what he failed to do regarding Sandusky, but that doesn't mean his every action was wrong headed.

    If "owning sports coverage" means looking for every opportunity to further besmirch a guy when he's down, then I guess it accomplishes its mission.

  2. 8:46 Demonizing? You are shooting the messenger.

    As to the timing of Paterno's contract negotiations, the second paragraph says (my emphasis added):

    "That same month, Mr. Paterno, the football coach at Penn State, began negotiating with his superiors to amend his contract, with the timing something of a surprise because the contract was not set to expire until the end of 2012, according to university documents and people with knowledge of the discussions. By August, Mr. Paterno and the university’s president, both of whom were by then embroiled in the Sandusky investigation, had reached an agreement."

    If nothing else, it was unseemly in the least for the university of re-open contract negotiations while Paterno was on the verge of testifying to a grand jury investigating the case.

    The story also makes clear that at least one board member was so afraid of Paterno's supporters, they were unwilling to stand up to the coach on his contract. That's another clear sign that the football program held too much sway in campus governance.

    But I haven't read any of this in recent editions of USA Today.

  3. My reference to demonizing was directed toward the Times. While I did not intend to shoot the messenger, I do question the messenger's choice of how one goes about "owning sports coverage" unless your message is simply jump on the current bandwagon and make sure your tone is more ominous than the facts you provide.

  4. Oops, forgot to mention, by pointing out that Paterno's existing contract was to go through 2012 are you (Jim) suggesting new contracts are normally only negotiated as the current one nears expiration? That is not my understanding of the way sports or "talent" contracts are handled.

    I don't want to make more of all of this than it deserves. I had read the article prior to seeing your post and I rather quickly dismissed it as adding li9ttle if anything to the Penn State issues. I was taken aback when I noted you had chosen it as something special.

  5. Like term limits for politicians, older coaches need to be bumped up to Emeritus status and let newer regimes take over. It shakes up the status quo and helps to keeps overly-entitled and unsavory from becoming entrenched. Woody Hayes and Bobby Bowdon are two other examples of coaches who stayed too long.

  6. I didn't read the story, yet, but I worked with men that died of cancer; once diagnosed, and they realized the amount of time left, their families were a top priority.

    Could JoePa have learned of his prognosis, and thus, made preparations for his family after his death?

    Again, I have yet to read the story...

  7. 5:10 "Again I have yet to read the story..."

    By all means, don't let that stop you from criticizing it.

  8. Jim has valid points, boosted by USAT adding it to their web site. Is USAT and Gannett now becoming an aggregate site? It may have to with all the cuts GCI has made.

  9. @9:42 . . . re coaches' contracts. It's not unusual for coaches to have a contract that "rolls over" one year to the next. Certainly, there are coaches that sign multi-year deals.

    Using Bobby Bowden as an example. His contract (later in his career) would add a new year to an existing contract, going out four or five years. For example, if his deal was for four years, set to expire 2014, then at the end of the 2011 season his contract (by mutual consent with FSU) automatically added a year, to expire 2015.

    Paterno being the icon he WAS, probably just had the same deal on a current year-to-year basis. It was the equivalent of a lifetime contract for Paterno (who was going to fire him?) as long as Penn State had no cause not to renew.


    To anyone with authentic J-experience (and not a Gannettoid carpet-bagging bozo), NYT obviously just rapidly reviewed a lot of JoePa docs, publicly available via the PSU board system. Then thought seriously about the major issues. Then they acted.

    Real journalism. Not bull-crap, supervised by CPAs and butt-kissing carpet-baggers.

    Oh, and real journalism creates brand loyalty. Like, profits. Duh.

  11. Wonder if Mark Faller of the AZ Republic and Saraceno of USAT are in the fetal position right now. Both "journalists" do little to hide their love for dear ole PSU.


Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."

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