Sunday, February 8, 2015

Freedom of Information Act: How did the reporter know to ask?

If you read about NC State basketball in the Raleigh newspaper, there are several on-going references to bad officiating, missed calls that would have benefited the Wolfpack if called. Most recently, Friday’s story in the newspaper centered on the lack of a flagrant one foul with just over 40 seconds to go in the Wake Forest game played Tuesday. If called, State would have had several free throw attempts and possibly made up the losing difference of four points.

What’s interesting and a little out of the ordinary was the third paragraph of story: “The News & Observer obtained a copy of Yow’s email Thursday via a Freedom of Information Act request.” Now, imagine this: The game was played Tuesday night, and by Thursday, the writer (or someone at the paper) was able to obtain an email between the Atlantic Coast Conference office and Wolfpack Athletics Director Debbie Yow through the Freedom of Information Act. Question: How did the reporter know to ask?
To do that, here’s what some suspect happened, just a theory: Yow—wanting to make sure the public knows of missed calls that go against the Wolfpack—called or somehow sent word to the reporter to say ACC head of officials John Clougherty sent her an email saying the officials missed the call. This would happen after either Yow or State basketball coach Mark Gottfried made a formal inquiry with the ACC. Once the writer knew about the email, the writer would ask Yow directly for the email but Yow couldn’t do it that way. Proper channels would be through a Freedom of Information Act request. So the reporter made that request of Yow or someone else in the NCSU athletics department to make it official. Just a theory.

The Wolfpack was blessed for many years to have Frank Weedon as sports information director and as associate athletics director. Frank would keep a play-by-play of every game, even sitting in the stands, and he would keep a written record of what he thought were questionable calls. Yow might doing the same; who knows. But, if the theory is correct, in getting the word out via conversations with the reporter, she’s doing her job to make sure Wolfpack fans get the idea that the ACC is totally against NC State.

Maybe a Freedom of Information Act request of Yow’s telephone records to show calls to and from reporters as well as her emails of the same would reveal items of more interest. Maybe she should just shrug her shoulders and laugh it off. We all know that Chris Corchiani did not walk against Georgetown many years ago, but for the most part, Jim Valvano just laughed off hysterics by Weedon over officiating. Yow and all State fans, this writer included, should laugh off the officiating mistakes. It happens.
-------------------- word of the day
solipsistic (adjective) [sol-ip-sis-tik]: of or characterized by the theory that only the self exists

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