Do athletes owe their fans an explanation for anything that takes place during a contest, win or lose? Should college players and coaches be bombarded with questions from the media?
I believe the answer is yes.
Following a loss Monday night, the normally cooperative Florida A&M University men’s basketball team was tight-lipped. One source in particular said that he was ordered to keep quiet and would not comment for fear of being reprimanded.
Being a former military soldier, I fully understand the concept of following orders, and I also empathize with my source’s concerns. Stepping back and looking at the big picture there are a few things that should be considered.
As a member of the student media I have the responsibility of informing the public, which consists of students, faculty and alumni, about what takes place on and around campus.
When the team wins a game that is what I write about. If the team loses a game, that will also be in black and white.
I do not interject my untrained coaching critiques, as ESPN analysts are paid to do. Rather, I try to bring readers factual information on what takes place and the outcome.
Secondly, I am not asking sources for the teamís playbook or anything secretive. However, I am asking for an insiderís perspective of a contest, which a many Famuan readers consistently support. The cooperation from the players and coaching staff goes a long way in building rapport and maintaining a great fan base. The attitudes that the teams carry on the court and field should not be displayed off the court. Every one should be respected. We are not trying to place the teams in a negative light. We are just trying to get the story out. Any publicity that is given to the team should be good for them.
Most of the players always talk about how they want to further their careers, but the way a person is displayed in the media can also make or break their careers.
Lastly, there are outside organizations that do not regularly highlight the sporting events taking place here on campus. The Famuan, along with WANM 90.5 and FAMU TV 20, consistently value FAMU athletics as newsworthy and entertaining. These media outlets should be the leading sources for university sports. It would only be proper that the teams that they cover reciprocate the same level of support shown by the student media.
Cedrrick Ashley is a senior public relations student from Atlanta. He can be reached at famuansports @gmail.com.