One of the problems with coming back from vacation is simply the act of catching up. This morning the "Monday Morning Wash" column was published prematurely before I had a chance to edit the opening rant on WSU coach Paul Wulff. The opening paragraph of the article shouldn't have seen the light of day and I apologize to all my readers for the rant which was written to shape the article.
I try to keep up when I am out of town and by pre-writing pieces to subject to edit before it is actually published. This morning it backfired when I was called out unexpectedly and didn't take the auto publish feature off.
Let me start off by saying the article is unfair to both Bob Condotta and Bud Withers of the Seattle Times and to a lesser extent Jim Moore of the Seattle PI.
The Wulff piece was just an outline of where I was headed and not where I intended to end up. Most of the problems are in the first paragraph.
While I was on vacation this week I had to laugh while both Seattle newspapers defended WSU coach Paul Wulff despite the fact that he landed his former school on probation after failing to report numerous violations during his tenure as head coach. They also overlooked a couple of secondary recruiting violations that happened recently at WSU. Washington on the other hand lands on the front page for renting a fog machine and the more serious problems at WSU get shoved under the rug?
Neither Bob Condotta, Bud Withers, or Jim Moore actually defended Wulff or WSU.
The media didn't overlook WSU's secondary violations. They reported on them once WSU made them public in conjunction with the Wulff/ESU story.
As far as the direction I was going I do feel the Times and PI have had an axe to grind with the UW athletic department for almost twenty years. One example was the timing on the Times series regarding the Neuheisel Rose Bowl team which was published right before LOI day last year which I felt was sensationalistic in nature and very dated. You have to question the timing of the release and the peripheral damage it could cause because of that timing. I also know that the sports staff had little or nothing to do with that series.
As far as current coverage goes I think the local papers got a lot of mileage out of what was extremely minor concerning Sarkisian's secondary violations. I believe the space given and tone concerning those secondary violations were given more overall coverage and importance than Wulff's more serious transgressions at EWU.
I think the Times putting in an online poll that lumps Neuheisel, and Wulff together with Sarkisian was really in bad taste. I feel it results in guilt by association. It is like comparing a person who gets a parking violation to a habitual criminal.
The newspapers did mention the WSU secondary violations once the school released the information in conjunction with the sanctions at EWU and the NCAA's punishment of Wulff. Of course the WSU secondary violations got swallowed up in a bigger story and I doubt they would have seen the light of day if the EWU sanctions hadn't been announced. You can put that on WSU and not the media since they can't write about what they aren't aware of.
I think way too much attention and scrutiny was given to the Washington violations. In Washington's case the local newspapers were on the story without actually breaking it within hours of the violations occurring which gave the story more of a life of its own. To the Times credit they didn't make as big a deal out of it but had to follow the PI's lead to a certain extent IMHO. News is news.
As far as the PI goes the lead (Art Thiel) and second columnist (Jim Moore) both found plenty of space to devote attention to the UW violations. I also think Molly Yanity made way too big a deal out of it. I realize that it is tough to find space these days but I feel the EWU/WSU/Wulff story merited equal or greater space if the UW violations were deemed to be so important.
I realize most of my readers don't care if I blast the Seattle newspapers. They are an easy target but this story deserves clarification.
A friend sent an email today that I received when I got home this evening disagreeing that the local media was defending Paul Wullf which alerted me to the fact that the article went out before it was edited or rewritten. While the premature release was an honest mistake it hurts the credibility of the blog and the positive intellectual UW football community we are trying to build here.
Most importantly the article reflects poorly on the local beatwriters and columnists who report on the UW and WSU program. All blogs and message boards follow a formula to a certain extent where we comment and expand on what those people are writing about. Without them we would have a lot less to comment on