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Blog #8 Joe Paterno

Joe Paterno was one of the best coaches in the history of the NCAA football league, leading Penn State for so many years including winning 409 total football games and 24 bowl game wins since he started coaching in 1966.

However, no matter what Joe-pa did or accomplished in his career nothing with keep people from forgetting about the tragic scandal that he was involved in during a period of his coaching days. Long story short, Paterno sat back and kept his mouth closed while outrageous and disgusting things went on with one of his coaches. The legacy that Paterno will forever hold will be the fact that he condoned and did nothing knowing that sexual assault and pedophilia was happening within his team.

It is truly a shame that a mans storied and historic career that last almost half a decade could be tarnished by one wrong decision that he made. It was definitely the wrong decision and i don’t think that anyone can really defend what he did. He essentially deserves what he gets.

One of the major factors that i think played out with what Paterno did in this situation is that he would rather put his team and schools name and legacy before doing the right thing and reporting what was going on. The main reason that no one came forward when all of this was going on was to protect the football program. People probably could have gotten away with murder if they were in the same spot, in the end these people involved only cared about keeping the name of their program safe even if it meant that lives would be crushed in the meantime.

I think that it is safe to say that there will no longer be the legacy of Paterno’s coaching career when his name comes up in the future. The only thing that will be associated with his name is the scandal that happened and the faliure to do the right thing on Paterno’s part. This is simply what happens when public figures do things like this. I believe that over time, his coaching career accomplishments will fade into almost nothing and his name will be directly related to the scandal.

Another example of someone whose sports career is completely forgotten would be O.J. Simpson. Paterno’s wrongdoings may not equal that of what Simpson did but it is easy to see that no one these days even thinks of just how great of a football player Simpson was back in the day. Maybe back in the 90s when this first happened people could still associate Simpson with football but as time goes on new generations form and these things are forgotten and only the bad things live on. In the end, i believe that this will be the same case with Joe Paterno, sad but that is what happens when you do the wrong thing.

Blog #7

Olympic torch case study:


Would you have carried the torch?

If i was in this situation and was posed the decision to either carry the torch or be able to cover the Olympic games themselves i would cover the games. Obviously turning down the opportunity to be able to carry the torch during the Olympic games would be a very tough thing to do, i really don’t think that it should keep a reporter from covering the games. What is the big deal if a reporter carried the torch and then reported on figure skating? Why would it be such a big impact, i really don’t understand the logic behind the situation but i do know that there are many ethical guidelines that journalists need to follow day in and day out so in the end covering the games would have to be my choice.


Duke Lacrosse case study:


What would you have done differently if you were the editor of the newspaper?

First and fore most in this situation i would not have choose sides so easily. It seemed like this newspaper had made their decision on what had happened right off the bat without much real reporting or digging. I think that this story really needed to be balanced and that the lacrosse players accounts needed to be in it rather than just having this ‘victim’ centralized throughout. Obviously this paper did not do their homework on this story and with some simple checking on facts from the account of the ‘victim’ they could have seen that something was wrong and they would not have jumped to conclusions.


Arthur Ashe case study:


Would you have revealed Ashe’s secret?

I would not have revealed Ashe’s secret because he wanted to keep it a secret and didn’t want anyone reporting that he had AIDs. This man had hid his condition from the news for three years so i don’t see what would drive a reporter to want to exploit Ashe over something he tried so hard to hide. I do think that the public should have known about what was going on with Ashe as time would ultimately show what he was dealing with but in the end as a reporter i think you should honor people when they simply don’t want things about their personal lives exposed all over the news.




Blog #6 Barry Bonds Situation

As a reporter, Barry Bonds certainly seemed like a very hard player to follow and cover. I never really knew this side of things until reading these articles but it is interesting to know things like this. I think that when a reporter is dealing with a public figure and athlete like Barry Bonds there are no rights and wrongs with how you go about things and you need to make sure that what you are doing won’t burn to many bridges.

I believe that the stories that were written about Bonds’ steroid use were necessary and needed to be addressed. Fans and the general pubic have a right to know what happens with the sports stars that they follow. However, it is totally up to the fans to react how they want when they learn about what is going on. As it says in the article, some people wrote off these stories on the steroid use for multiple reasons like they didn’t care because ‘everyone was on the juice’ at the time and simply because fans didn’t want to believe in it.

I think that it is easy for people to assume that hard stories exposing all of what happened with Bonds’ and his use of steroids was a personal attack by reporters because of the type of person that Bonds’ was. He had a bad relationship with the press and with many others around him. All in all it is very foolish to think that these reporters had it out for Bond’s which led to their stories, but they were required to write about it and didn’t have much of a say in it.

If i was in this situation myself i would have done exactly what the reporters did and produced the stories outing Bonds’. As a reporter and journalist, situations like this are always going to be popping up and you can’t just back out. I’m not really sure how i would have dealt with having to cover Bonds’ himself. I’m sure that he isn’t one of a kind though and that tons a sources are going to be hard to cover.

I thought it was interesting how the KNBR reporter was required not to talk about certain things pertaining to Bonds’ during his radio shows because it would hurt the station. It totally takes away from your work if you have to censor your views and can’t give honest and fair opinions on what you are reporting on. Personally if that was me i would try to fight it but in the end if you are told to do something by people in higher positions than you you need to do them or else you might loose your job. I see transparency as a key to relating to viewers and it is something that should be required in this business. It’s unfortunate to be in that situation, especially when you are covering someone like Bonds’, but it is what it is.

Blog #5 Transgender Athletes in Sport

A hot button issue at this time in the sports world has been the conflict and argument on weather transgender athletes should be able to participate in sports. For example, should a person who was born a man that now identifies them-self as woman be able to participate in woman’s sports? The same goes for the other way around.

A central issue that will arise in these situations is an unfair advantage. What if a person that use to be a man and is now a woman still has all of those qualities of a man, it would most likely give them a leg up on the competition and give them advantages that someone who was born a woman does not have. There is no hiding it that most of the time men have a higher ability than woman when it comes to sports especially in more physical sports like wrestling or football. If i was put into a woman’s shoes and was playing a sport and i knew that the person competing against me was born a man, I wouldn’t be too happy about it and would know that they may have more of an advantage over me. Of course this is not exactly what happens with all cases in that all men are born as superior athletes to woman but it is very frequent. In a sport like Track and Field it is a fact that men preform better in events than woman simply because no woman has a world record that is very close to a mans. If a transitioned woman enters into the woman’s competition in Track then they most likely will have an advantage.

Another area for concern with transgender athletes is where to draw the line when it is okay for transgenders to compete as the gender that they are transferring to. Can a person that has made the choice enter into the other genders sport right away or should they have to wait a certain amount of time? What if a man says that they are transgender so that they can cheat and dominate woman’s sport for pure self indulgence? How would you be able to avoid these kinds of situations? What does it take to transition yourself into the opposite gender? Is it simply the mindset and decision or is it more of the physical aspect of sorts? These are questions that are very tricky to answer and to come to a conclusion of.

One area that could cause some controversy in this issue as well is wether or not transgender athletes should have to disclose if they are transgender, not that it would really make much of a difference either way. The public may have the right to know these things as well as the athletes. If i was the athlete competing against a transgender athlete i would be very interested in this and would like to know who i was competing against.

In the end this is a very big issue at hand and there are many questions that surround it. When it comes down to it, as long as everything is fair there really shouldn’t be any problems.


Blog #4 Redskins

There has been a good deal of speculation and argument over the usage of Native-American referred names in relation to profession and collegiate sports teams throughout the past century. There has been a lot done to change certain names that where flat out offensive, however, the Washington Redskins name has still not been touched despite a good deal of conflict. There is plenty of debate over this name for both sides of whether it should be kept or changed. Many that argue it should be kept say that it has nothing to do with anything besides that sports team and it only refers to the team and nothing else. As long as the name isn’t meant to be derogatory towards the Native people there shouldn’t be anyone thinking that it is. On the other hand, arguments for the removal of the name are that it is in fact offensive using a name that has racist origins. All in all there are many different ways that this situation could be argued and there may not be a legitimate answer.

As it says in the Sports Illustrated “The Indian Wars” article, when Native people have been polled and asked whether or not they think the name should be changed, majority have been supportive for keeping the name. Even though it is pretty obvious that the name has a racial background it is hard to enforce this argument when actual Native-American people think that the name is not offensive and that it should be kept. Personally, with these kinds of results there shouldn’t be much argument for changing the name when the actual people that are effected by the name support keeping it.

A strong quote from the Indian Wars article was from Billy Mills when he said,”a team named Redskins in the capital of the nation that committed genocide against Native Americans is the equivalent of a soccer team in Germany being called the Berlin Kikes.” This is a very powerful quote and it can put the Redskins situation into perspective. It may not be as extreme as being compared to Nazi Germany but it is very similar. However, even though this is a valid point the article also shows that the name of sports teams isn’t meant to refer to anything but the team itself.

At the end of the day my personal answer to the question of should the Redskins name be changed is no. Changing the name of this team really won’t change much. The name will always be there and won’t be erased from history. People will always know that this team name existed. There is not an overwhelming support group rising up and rioting trying to get the name to be changed and until something like that happens I don’t see a change happening. At the end of the day these are sports teams that are being dealt with and there is certainly zero intent that the their names are trying to imply racism or disgrace toward Native Americans.

Blog #3: Should college athletes be paid?

(Disclaimer: I am a college athlete)

Right off the bat I will say that I don’t have a yes or no answer for this question. I believe that there are certain situations that may have a yes and others that are a no. I think that overall college athletes do a lot for their school.

College athletes can bring in substantial revenue for their universities and create a reputation, sometimes good or bad. Sports programs are instrumental in how people view colleges. Some may only associate colleges for their sports teams based on success.  However, athletes can also bring negative attention to their universities as well. If a college has poor sports teams with little success it can do the opposite that successful programs do. Also things like violations and athletes getting into trouble with the law can cause harm to a colleges reputation.

When it comes to universities giving back to their athletes there is plenty that they can do for students rather than just paying them money. Scholarships are a big way that athletes can get compensation in return for what they do. Maybe if student athletes are offered full scholarships it would accomplish more than paying them would. Paying for college is a huge expense and when a school can cover that for a student it is big, more so that paying would do. If an athlete is getting paid then that money will most likely go towards their tuition anyways if they don’t already have a full scholarship. Other things like free meal plans and coverage for books and supplies are offered for certain athletes as well. Overall, athletes in the present day get a respectable amount of help in financial means. Paying them on top of all of this might be a little too much.

The one area that I believe student athletes should receive extra money from their students is from the top division one programs that bring in thousands and millions of dollars as a result from their athletic programs. Programs like Kentucky Basketball and Alabama Football make so much money off of their athletic programs, mostly based off of their success. None of this money they make however goes back to the students directly. The money does benefit the programs with things like better gear but the money made goes even beyond those expenses.

If college athletes were to get paid how would you even determine when and how much? Would a small unsuccessful program’s athletes get paid just as much as some of the biggest schools in the nation? Would the top athletes get paid the same as some one who may be a walk-on that has seen little playing time? What happens when an athlete gets injured? Where would this money to pay athletes even come from. There would be a lot that would have to go into determining guidelines for paying athletes and I think in the end there really is no need for it.


Blog Post #2 Princeton Swim and Dive Suspension

Recently, the Princeton Men’s Swim and Dive team had their season suspended following an investigation into emails and text messages between members of the team which contained ‘vulgar’ comments in regards to members of the Princeton Woman’s Swim and Dive team. What was said in the messages has not been made public, it has only been said that the messages contained racist, misogynistic and homophobic material. This suspension comes in relation to two other Ivy league school’s sports programs and is following a chain of similar misconduct in the sports world. Columbia and Harvard suspended their wrestling and soccer seasons after similar content to what happened in Princeton’s scandal was discovered.

In the world of sports there has been an emergence in this kind of activity within the past few years. Along with this emergence has been a difference in the way these cases are being dealt with. Maybe a few years ago if this same thing happened the Princeton Swimming and Diving team punishment would have been less severe and the players would have gotten off with only a one or two game suspension. What makes this case even more gripping is the fact that woman were involved and subject to discrimination. The way that cases like this are being handled with woman these days are very serious and often lead to a substantial punishment. All in all, there is no tolerance of it in the present day.

An example of how the treatment of woman in cases like this has changed in recent years is from the case of Joe Mixon, a former running back of the Oklahoma Sooners, who in 2014, struck a woman in the face in a bar after a dispute. Initially, Mixon was suspended for a year before being allowed to compete again. However, with the video of the dispute being released just a month ago, it brought up the case again and gave new light to it leading head coach Bob Stoops to say that if the assault had happened today, Mixon would have been kicked off the team.

In relation to the Princeton case, what happened with Mixon goes to show that the punishments in related cases like these two, especially concerning woman, have changed in the way that they have been handled and the punishments that have happened to the people involved. Mixon would have definitely been kicked off the team and probably out of the school if this happened today. Professional sport icons are becoming prim example’s of this issue. These athletes and what they are doing is showing that the problem is on going and that we are beginning to see a zero tolerance level. People who do harm to woman are facing large scale punishment, something that has been evolving over the last decade or so.

All together, cases like the Princeton Swimming and Diving teams are always going to contain wrong doing that deserves punishment. I believe in and accept the punishment that was given to the team but with little to go off of to judge this. I think that something like canceling the program would have been over the top. However, this case does point out that when things like this happen, much of what is involved is censored and left out for the public to see. It is hard to judge these young men involved accurately seeing that we cannot see firsthand what exactly was said in the messages and under what context the messages where implied. They might have been just a joke or they could have been made out to cause harm, no one will really know. As readers, this article does not show that and it leads the public to make assumptions which always can blow what really happened out of proportion.

Yes, there must have been wrong doing in this case for a season to be suspended, but readers shouldn’t jump to conclusions until they are fully aware of what exactly happened. Again, in connection to the Mixon case, it wasn’t until the actual video was released until people could actually see what happened which made the assault case more powerful than it was 2 years ago in 2014. This could be the same in Princeton’s case and if these messages are released some day down the line they could convince people that they aren’t as severe for a season to have been canceled.