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Commentary: Let’s all just play fair

Elsie Ramos, Sports Editor

Covering a sporting event is one of the most exciting things to do in the field of journalism.

You get to feel the energy of the crowd, the emotions of the players and the thrill of the game.

When one of our staff writers comes up to me and tells me that the game was really good, I get excited because I am thinking that I am going to get a good story. But then their faces fall and they tell me that no one would talk to them after the game. Not the coaches and not the players.

Now, I understand that sports are very emotional and sometimes the last thing a player wants to do after a tough loss is talk about it, so the athletic department’s policy on giving the athletes and coaches a “cooling off” period is a reasonable request and one that we at the Campus Times respect.

But when the players refuse to talk to the staff writers because coaches are telling them not to, and the players are scared of what might happen if they do; that is something we cannot respect.

This has happened on several occasions this semester with different ULV sports and different coaches.

Following the Homecoming game, our staff writer was told he could not talk to any of the players, so he tried to get in contact with them afterward and still he got nothing.

Head coach Andy Ankeny told him to come to practice the next day so he could get quotes, so the writer went. He waited for 45 minutes and left with nothing.

The next day I approached a football player and asked him why no one would talk and he told me it is because they are scared.

So the Campus Times made the decision to run the story without quotes. To that date it was the best game the Leopards had played all season, and we did not get to hear how the players felt about it.

Earlier in the semester, as a staff we decided that we were not going to cover one particular sport anymore because the athletes simply would not talk. They stopped answering phone calls, text messages and e-mails.

As a sports fan, it makes me really upset to have to do this, but as a writer if a source is not going to talk to me, then eventually I am just going to stop going to them.

These athletes should not be bullied and threatened went it comes to talking to the Campus Times. It is unfair that some of these athletes are not getting the exposure they deserve because coaches are afraid of what they will say.

All we are trying to do is cover the games and gives these athletes some attention and credit for their hard work – not to mention reporting the results of these games to the teams’ fans.

If the athletes play a bad game, yes we are going to write that they did not play well. But if they win or even if they lose and they showed that they gave it their all, we will write that.

Our school and community are so small that this is really the only exposure La Verne athletics gets and to deny the athletes the right to speak is not right or fair.

So I ask the athletic department, the coaches and the players to play nice with the Campus Times because all we are trying to do is give you guys the notoriety that no one else does.

Elsie Ramos, a sophomore journalism major, is sports editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at elsie.ramos@laverne.edu.

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