This week, the BOTC crew is back, and while there's a lot going on in Wildcatland these days, most of it has already been discussed, rehashed, and reheated. In this week's edition of Midweek QB, we discuss weekend plans (pheasant hunting!), summarize our feelings on the debacle that occurred last week, engage in brief discussion of journalism ethics -- puncuated by morally relativistic comment by TB -- and talk about drinking beer during class. Oh, and Panjandrum devotes 33 words to what we need to do to have a chance against Nebraska this weekend.
Hit the jump for more.
EMAW: While I wish I could get excited about the game this weekend, I just can't seem to make myself believe that this game means anything. I hate saying that, but it's the truth. I'll be in western Kansas hunting pheasant all weekend, so it's good that I'll have my mind off the game a little bit. But, I'm sure I'll be keeping tabs via radio broadcast....
As for the entire Patterson situation, I'll sum it up by just saying that everyone needs to just put their egos aside. I'm sure Fitz at GoPowercat.com probably had it right, but he just broke the story too soon. If he could do it over, I'm sure he would have contacted Krause, Wefald, and Patterson to at least get their side of the story. At the very least, he then could have inserted the requisite "neither K-State or Patterson will confirm". ESPN does this all the time, but by coming clean that they are reporting rumors from a source, their ass is covered.
The journalists that chose to offer their opinions of internet journalism are most likely just uneasy that the internet is now the source for breaking news. Many have embraced this change over the last few years, but sadly others choose to live in the stone age. Many young - and even some experienced - journalists are turning to the internet as their way of offering news to the rest of the world. I could go on for hours about this, but it's late and I'm tired.
Panjandrum: It's hard for me to take my 'fan hat' off on the GoPowercat.com/Patterson fiasco. On one hand, I understand why Fitz did it; that's his job. I don't doubt his sources, and I have no reason to believe what he said was untrue. He's every bit the journalist that the other local guys are. The only problem is that I think he kind of made a 'brain fart' in this case. In a wild frenzy to break the story, I think he forgot the simple fact that Patterson really can't even talk to KSU now, let alone seal a deal. If he did, he may be in hot water with TCU. I haven't read his contract, but I'm going to guess that he can't talk to KSU without TCU's premission, and I'm sure KSU can't contact Patterson without going through them. If a deal had been done, I highly doubt that TCU would have said, "Sure thing," the week before the biggest game of their season.
So, essentially, Fitz struck gold, but he did it on someone else's property, and instead of just quietly sneaking it back home and spending it at the opportune time, he waved his hands in the air and yelled, "Hey, guys! Look what I found!"
I'm not going to come down hard on Fitz because I honestly like the guy. He's never been anything but good to me during all of my time on GoPowercat.com, and I really think he had the best intentions. I was very angry on Friday and Saturday, but that's just because I've been so pro-Patterson for so long that anything that put that in jeopardy just incensed me.
So, in summation, good job in digging up the sources, and I don't doubt that it's true. However, he should have sat on it and released it at the end of the season. I understand that if you have a story as a journalist, you run with it, but in this case, he should have thought about the ramifcations of going public with this info.
However, on the flip side, Gary Patterson didn't handle this very well. Considering how guys like Mark Janssen treat websites, Patterson simply could have said, "Man, it's a website. Do you really want to comment on everything people say about me on a website?" Granted, as I said, GoPowercat.com is actually a credible source, but no one in Texas (outside of KSU fans) know that. He could have just dismissed it out of hand and said, "Seriously, no. I've got to gameplan for a good Air Force team. Leave me alone."
What he DIDN'T need to do is go on a Dallas sports radio show and trash KSU by saying that he wouldn't talk to a school that fires a coach in season and tries to talk to coaches without permission. In one swift move, he probably upset a lot of KSU fans, and he painted himself into a corner because now if he takes the job, he looks like he's going against his word. I know that Gary Patterson has a reputation for being less than savvy when handling the media, but put some thought into it man!
As far as the game goes this week, stack the box, run the ball, and hope to God that Joe Ganz doesn't bend us over and pound us like he did last year.
TB: While I don't like hearing anything bad said about K-State, I can't fault Patterson for how he reacted. The kangaroo court that is our athletic department right now, plus Fitz's decision* to print the story when he did put Patterson in a terrible position with TCU. For a whole bunch of reasons that would take up way too much space to be printed here, I think Patterson and his agent did pretty much what they had to do if they wanted to keep their options open. I don't doubt that Patterson may have upset some K-State fans with what he said, but it's also my belief that any of those wounds will be more than healed if he decides he wants to be our next head coach.
*We could have a great journalism ethics discussion over Fitz's decision to run the story, and I wouldn't doubt my good friend Professor Smethers over at the A.Q. Miller school will probably have just such a discussion with his class in the future. Some, like the three of us here, believe Fitz should have sat on the story. Others, like Curtis Kitchen from 810 radio, lay the blame at the foot of the sources. Who is right and who is wrong? At the risk of sounding like a moral relativist, nobody is either. There are good arguments on either side. In this case, I happen to come down on the side of waiting on the story, because the competing argument of "journalistic integrity" isn't as persuasive to me because there really was no issue of holding anyone accountable here. The story involved was a pure news story, and one that, if broken when it was, could turn into a real problem merely because of timing. That's my argument; I'm sure there are others who strongly disagree.
EMAW: We should drop a note to see what Smethers's thoughts are. I'm sure he's got an interesting take. I agree that we could go into the proper ethics journalists should use in these types of situations, but there may be no clear answer.
TB and I probably missed that portion of the class while sharing a pitcher of beer at the Student Union....
TB: What model students we were, using class break to down a pitcher across the street from the j-school.