Thursday, May 08, 2008

Bad Journalism in the Commonwealth

Thanks to our friends at A Sea of Blue, we have leaned that Lexington Herald-Leader columnist Jerry Tipton is very unethical when it comes to speaking to the families of Kentucky recruits. If you don't have time to read the article in full, here is the cliff-notes version:
The facts of the case, as best I can glean them from Maggard's website, his interviews with Avery and Zollo's parents, and reading the numerous threads about the subject are these:

1. Jerry Tipton interviewed the parents of Zollo and Avery about their commitments to UK. In them, he asked the usual questions about why committing so early, why Kentucky, etc. The sort of stuff that one would figure newspaper reporters would normally ask.

2. In addition to 1 above, Tipton apparently asked both parents (and we do not know the wording of these questions) something along the lines of, "Are you concerned about the fact that Gillispie is considered to be arrogant and hard to play for?" and asked Avery something along the lines of, "There have been injuries at UK that some have attributed to the more difficult and numerous practices Gillispie holds, does that concern you?"

3. Tipton allegedly mentioned or asked a question to Zollo's mother about "rumors" surrounding the coach, apparently including his two earlier arrests for suspicion of DUI. This allegation is a bit fuzzy in the recorded record, but Marc Maggard has insisted that Zollo's mother was more candid with him off the record about this subject, and even included an intimation that Lexington was a bad place to live.

4. Mr. Avery explicitly denied that Tipton ever mentioned any drinking or womanizing rumors, or discussed Lexington's suitability.

5. Both parents suggested that potentially negative aspects of Coach Gillispie's personality were discussed -- i.e. how "hard" he was on players, that he was arrogant, etc.

6. Both parents stated that they were "uncomfortable" with some of Tipton's questions, ostensibly because of their perception of them as negative. Both of the parents declined to discuss the Tipton interview in detail, citing a desire to keep most of the details private.
KSR will have a post up later but Marc Maggard has posted that Jerry Tipton is UK enemy #1!

No comments: