Sweaty Men Endeavors

The sports blog with the slightly gay name

Friday, February 02, 2007

The Case of Miami Sportswriters v. Saban

When Nick Saban's ignorant comments about Cajuns became public earlier this week (you can hear them on the Online Sports Guys' "Count/Pointercount" podcast), I was a little bit surprised that no one expressed any concern that the remarks were said "off the record."

That's not to excuse what Saban said in any way whatsoever, and if that's how he really feels about people in that part of the country, it should've been exposed. But it's been my understanding in my limited experience as a journalist (professional or otherwise) that it's pretty clear what "off the record" means. And I'm a little bit surprised that other journalists didn't point that out when reporting or commenting upon the story.

Of course, that might speak to just how repugnant Saban has become to the media. You're not going to win much support by lecturing reporters not to ask questions about the Alabama head coaching position, telling them how to do their work by saying he shouldn't even have to answer such inquiries, only to then turn around and take the very job he claimed he had no interest in. So it's easy to see how a grudge might develop, and why other media might cut their brethren a break.

But there's also the matter of acting professionally. And passing over "off the record" comments to a sports talk radio host (Gee, do you think he'll play them on the radio?) in Miami might not have been the best way for the Miami Herald's Jeff Darlington (who was one of three Florida-based reporters chatting with Saban on that occasion) to conduct himself.

The Miami Herald apparently feels the same way, having suspended Darlington from further coverage of Super Bowl XLI, otherwise known as Sportswriters Convention in South Beach - WHOO HOO! For his sake, I can only hope the suspension was handed down after the big media party. I hear the food at those things is great. Oh, and the networking. But whatever.

Plus, it could've been interesting to see if Darlington had any words for Orlando Alzugaray, the sports talk host who ran the tape on the air. Ooooh, the tension! Scrum breaking out by the shrimp cocktail bowl! Break it up, fellas! Lots of other people have to get to that spread.

(Via Romenesko)

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