Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

11 Jun 2005

Hadley Crosses the Line by Working for Rams, Too

Interesting story here about a St. Louis talk show host who has taken a job with the Rams as "'director of research and Internet consultant" while still remaining on air -- giving his opinions about the team that he now works for. I'm a little curious to speak to this John Hadley fellow, given that part of his job includes statistical analysis.

Hey, if they wanted to hire someone without the conflict of interest, I could always put the Rams in touch with Jason McKinley, author of the article "In Defense of Mike Martz" that appears in the upcoming Pro Football Prospectus 2005. I'm sure he'd happily work for the Rams instead of writing for us in the future.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 11 Jun 2005

10 comments, Last at 13 Jun 2005, 12:28pm by Carl

Comments

1
by Ted (not verified) :: Sun, 06/12/2005 - 12:01pm

Wasn't there a similar issue with Dave Spadaro (who now works full-time writing for the Eagles website) a few years ago?

If I recall correctly, he was still writing freelance articles for the AP while working for the Eagles (though the story may have been a little more complicated than that).

2
by Led (not verified) :: Sun, 06/12/2005 - 12:22pm

Aaron: Nice plug. You're really getting the hang of the synergy thing.

3
by Carl (not verified) :: Sun, 06/12/2005 - 12:23pm

A reporter should never receive compensation from any source about whom he is likely to write.

Ever.

End of discussion.

4
by Led (not verified) :: Sun, 06/12/2005 - 12:39pm

Carl: I don't really disagree, but just to play devil's advocate: isn't access, particularly exclusive access, a very valuable form of "compensation"?

Len Pasquarelli, for example, provides a ton of great information in his columns, but many have noted that he often gives favorable coverage to the agents from whom he appears to be getting that information. Bill Parcells has a personal relationship a handful of media guys (Mike Francessa of WFAN, Peter King, etc.) whom he gives inside tidbits and from whom he gets public praise. I've no doubt there are similar symbiotic source/press relationships that are just short of direct affiliation. I might even prefer a Hadley-type situation as long as there is full and prominent disclosure of the affiliation.

5
by Armstrong Williams (not verified) :: Sun, 06/12/2005 - 12:53pm

"A reporter should never receive compensation from any source about whom he is likely to write.

Ever.

End of discussion."

Heh!

6
by MDS (not verified) :: Sun, 06/12/2005 - 4:30pm

Carl is right, of course, but I don't think most people realize how often journalists have financial relationships with their sources, especially in the sports world. Peter King wrote the introduction to the latest Favre book. Nearly every book that carries the name of a pro athlete was co-written with a professional journalist. If I were an editor I'd bar my writers from such relationships, which is why I'll never be an editor at a mainstream publication.

7
by joel in providence (not verified) :: Sun, 06/12/2005 - 5:36pm

re: a defense of mike martz...

if you search online for an article on the west coast offense written about 3 years ago by, i believe, paul zimmerman, you'll find some stuff about martz's first-hand knowledge of the wco.

basically, he and norv turner essentually are both bigtime sid gillman/san diego state disciples.

8
by Joe (not verified) :: Mon, 06/13/2005 - 1:01am

If it works for the Bush Administration, I'm sure it works for the Rams.

9
by Carl (not verified) :: Mon, 06/13/2005 - 11:46am

The sports beat is its own little den of vice, of course. The press box spread at most stadia is breath-taking, as are all the freebies handed out to the pool, from t-shirts to (in some places) beer.

Maybe because I'm from the hard news side (although I've been a sports guy since 1998, too) I refused to take any of their filthy lucre.

I wouldn't take a brownie from the mayor after an interview, why should I accept a boxed lunch from the Browns because I show up at camp?

Beyond that, MDS is right. There are side-compensation deals for authorized biographies, for radio gigs that involve discussions with the team-paid "analyst" or play-by-play guy, and some guys even fly on team-chartered airplanes from game to game.

As for access, LED, I work with clubs all the time, pro bono, sharing the same information with them that I do with my readers (and even posters here). That builds access without corrupting my soul or leading to readers who doubt my intentions.

And I know that Len Pasquarelli would NEVER distort anything he believe to be true in order to passify a source. His career and honor (which are one and the same) are more important to him than making an agent, coach or player happy.

Let's face it, Pasquarelli is going to be around longer than they are (unless it's Doug Flutie or Dick Vermeil, who are both now 94).

By the way, there are a great many reporters who write a blurb or an introduction for a player, coach, blah, blah, blah whom they admire without accepting payment.

I'll do that for James Wilder or Senser81, gratis.

10
by Carl (not verified) :: Mon, 06/13/2005 - 12:28pm

On the other hand, for those covering Colorado football...