"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Amoroso: two perspectives, one biased reporter

In the past two days, MU fans have read more detail about Ryan Amoroso's decision to leave the program. Yesterday, the Racine Journal-Times' Gery Woelfel blogged about Amoroso's situation, and this morning the MJS' Todd Rosiak delivered his Amoroso status report. Predictably, Rosiak offers a balanced take on Amoroso's transfer from MU. Equally predictable, Woelfel was too lazy (or simply not interested) to match Rosiak's effort.

Woelfel continues his years-long trend of taking shots at the MU program. Woelfel used Amoroso's high school coach to further his well-known agenda, namely to tear down Tom Crean and the MU basketball program. At least we didn't have to bear Woelfel's sophomoric name calling of Tom Crean in his latest effort.

Woelfel's coverage of the MU program is inexplicable. He routinely swoops into cover specific situations that reinforce his negative perspective. His all-or-nothing recruiting updates on MU's pursuits of Bryce Webster, Chas McFarland and Lance Stemler were as predictable as his decision to completely ignore the signings of David Cubillan, Trend Blackledge and Maurice Acker. Woelfel did cover the Hayward signing late last year. Of course, he covered Hayward again recently -- only to address rumors surrounding the player's alleged academic status.

Let's get more specific. A quick search of his site pulled up eleven articles focused on Marquette. Mercifully for Woelfel, the search engine does not pull up more dated rants on Marquette or this would look much worse for him and his editors.

We removed passing mentions of Marquette from this evaluation, as well as nickname coverage and NBA draft coverage for Diener or Novak. Of the eleven remaining articles, nine were negative (nearly 82%) -- one even included baseless speculation of Crean being interested in the Indiana job.

Specific to recruits, he only penned one positive article about kids that signed to play for MU (Hayward) but revisited his 'sky is falling' routine for all others. Here are a few examples of Woelfel's work:

Stemler: "Recruit puts Marquette on hold"
McFarland: "Marquette loses another big recruit"
Mitchell: "MU loses recruit to Florida" "
"Majerus, Crean interested in Indiana job?"

The two of the first three articles were important, and were covered by many other media outlets. Of course, those other outlets also covered the kids who actually signed with MU. As for the Stemler article, he never put MU on hold -- he was merely completing the recruiting process. Add in the rumor-mongering, and Woelfel's intentions become ever more apparent.

What makes Woelfel unique is his ability to ignore nearly everything from the MU program that might be viewed as neutral to positive. He's content to wait it out, hoping for the worst. Readers are still waiting for his take on MU's 10-6 inaugural Big East season. And Novak's sublime performance against UConn. And that Novak's remarkable senior season. And Crean's success in developing talent, particularly in the backcourt.

So many possibilities...for resourceful reporters like Rosiak and Fly. With fair and balanced 'reporting' like this, no wonder Woelfel is the king of all media - - in Racine.


Anonymous said...

I question why the Racine Journal Times would even employ such a poor columnist as Mr. Woelfel. The only thing wors than his obvious bias against the Marquette basketball program and head coach is his poor reporting and writing skills. Their standards must be very low in that one newspaper town.

Anonymous said...

Gery is so very scary