Saturday, April 28, 2012

Wasting Money on a Lawsuit?

It's a simple public records request asking for a copy of the contract between Kent State University and International Sports Properties, Inc.   Kent State did provide a unsigned copy of the contract to student reporter Doug Brown, but there's one major problem.  All the financial terms are redacted.  The taxpaying public would never be able to determine if this a good contract or a sweetheart deal or a total ripoff.  

Kent State says it cannot release the financial terms.   It claims the financial terms are "trade secrets."

Can you imagine any public university so foolish as to believe it can eliminate the financial terms of a contract?    It will be interesting to read the University's brief it will have to file with the Ohio Supreme Court to defend that legal reasoning.    Let's hope the University chooses not to waste time and money on a lawsuit it will lose.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Great Book for Sports Reporters

It's a must read for any reporter covering college sports:  Tainted Glory by David Ridpath.   Ridpath tells a well-documented account of what happened to him while trying to improve compliance at Marshall University.   And in a single sentence he encapsulates the basic problem:

"NCAA history is littered with assistant coaches, secondary staff members, and others who were blamed for 'breakdowns in the system,' in order to protect higher-ups."


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Always Report the Lies

What a great picture that tells the story of the disappointing ethical standards of the church leaders.   With a little Photoshop, the $30,000 watch disappears from the wrist, but not from the reflection in the table.  Who first caught the deception?   Russian bloggers.   What a great time to be a journalist when any citizen can instantly post, can instantly send a tip on a story.    Great work Russian bloggers.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

An Education Story Waiting to be Done

March Madness is over.   Now those players can do something they haven't done for a while, go to class.   A student in my computer-assisted reporting class, Doug Rogers, did an excellent interview with Jon Ericson, former provost of Drake University.   Jon is the retired founder of The Drake Group, but he's hardly retired from the Group's main concern:  academic integrity.

In his interview with Doug, Jon asks a great question.   Where's the teaching magic?   How can athletes who miss all kinds of classes and come dead tired to others, maintain high GPA's?   But Jon's not upset with the athletic department.   His concern is with the faculty, and he issues a challenge any university concerned with education should accept, and any education reporter should examine.

An Academic Challenge to University Faculty from Karl Idsvoog on Vimeo.