Monday, March 23, 2009

Responsible Journalism 101

Compare and contrast two columnists and their profiles of Syracuse guard Eric Devendorf. Devo is the new antichrist of college hoops -- a white trash-talking tattooed thug-looking player for SU who has been voted the most hated college hoops player by The Big Lead (whatever that is).

Devendorf is a college senior with junior eligibility who missed most of last season with an ACL tear (he applied for and received a medical redshirt exemption for the season). That cost SU about three wins and an NCAA berth. He's a decent outside shooter, playmaking ballhandler and one of the better fast-break finishers in the game (especially considering he doesn't dunk). In December, he was suspended and the SU student judicial committee recommended tossing him out of school for the rest of the year after an altercation involving a female student.

In Pat Forde's column (linked above), we learn that the woman recanted. In Jeff Passan's column, that wee bit of information is absent.

So Passan allows the unchallenged view that Devendorf is a misogynist who smacks women around. Forde gives context (Devendorf says he acted in self-defense [yeah, sounds odd]) and given the recantation there is no unchallengeable claim that Devendorf smacked the woman around.

The relative quality of the reporting speaks for itself . . .

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