I’m not a Miami RedHawks fan.
I go to school at Miami University and love the place, but I don’t cheer on its sports teams.
Every day of the week, I root for the Cincinnati Reds, Bengals and a host of other franchises or college programs. But when it comes to the RedHawks, I have a job to do, and that is to report the facts from a neutral base.
Journalists aren’t allowed to cheer in the press box, and I live by that. I’m never calmer than when stationed in the Yager Stadium press box or Millett Hall press row.
People have told me to loosen up, but I call the action like I see it and encourage my staff to do the same. If one of Miami’s basketball teams shoots 30 percent from the field, I’ll write it struggled to score and won’t accentuate the positives. If the volleyball team wins in straight sets, I’ll write that it dominated.
That attitude comes from reading columnists like The Cincinnati Enquirer’s Paul Daugherty and Miami alum Terence Moore — men known for their strong opinions — along with masterfully neutral journalists like MLB.com’s Marc Topkin. Pulling punches and picking sides doesn’t result in good journalism, especially when picking the side of the team you’re assigned to cover.
I don’t revere Miami coaches or players. Tough questions still need to be asked, no matter how much I like a person on or off the field.
Miami Athletics records each coach’s press conference and posts the video online for fans to check out. Many times, I’ve asked pointed questions that have been cut from the video before it makes it online.
Last season, Miami Student staff writer Brady Pfister and I asked head football coach Chuck Martin what he thought of Miami’s last-place ranking on ESPN’s fan happiness index. Yes, the question and Martin’s response never made it online in video form, but it was in The Miami Student the next day.
Fans want to hear that. Fans want answers.
That’s how I view my job as sports editor. I’m lucky enough to have access to Miami sports that not many people have.
Because I and the other Miami Student sports writers have the privilege of being closer to the teams than most fans, I believe we need to have your backs. I want The Miami Student to provide Miami athletic coverage that can’t and won’t be seen elsewhere, whether it comes as game recaps, features or the occasional column.
I believe that’s what readers like everyone reading this want to see.
But I also want feedback.
What do you love to read about Miami sports? What do you hate about The Student’s past coverage? What do you want to see going forward?
My philosophy toward sports journalism and covering the RedHawks is detailed above. Those principles will be at the core of all Miami Student sports coverage during the 2019-2020 school year. That’s the standard I promise to hold myself and my writers to, and that’s what you can expect.
Want to see something different or have any suggestions? Let me know. My email address and Twitter handle are listed below.