Inside Scoop: Interactions with Sports Information Directors

Earlier this evening we had something happen that we want to share with our audience. 

It started with a typical text, this one from a coach we weren't familiar with. "Coach ____ is going to be out at _____." This probably won't shock anyone reading this; but yes, we do get quite a lot of texts like this. Our standard protocol is to attempt to verify this information before publishing. At most programs we have a contact we can call to verify things fairly quickly. In this case, and this is fairly rare, no one on our staff had a contact at the program described. We sat tight.

About 15 minutes later we received a second text relaying very similar info as the first text. This time, the sender is a trusted source who frequently sends us information that is accurate. We text back asking if it was good to publish the info and he said it was. Think about how bad it would be if players, or even staff members, found out about a head coaching change from reading it on FootballScoop. 

See, the goal of this website isn't to "break news"; in fact it pains us to have to report that coaches are being let go. However, nearly every coach around the country utilizes FootballScoop these days to follow and understand (and even get out front of) the flow of coaching movement. Our goal is to help coaches through the delivery of timely and accurate coaching job information; and we've been doing that pretty well since 1999. 

OK, so back to the events of this evening. Upon receiving the second text (from a trusted source) we decided to publish the information; but at the same time I lobbed in a phone call (and subsequently an email) to the SID just to verify and to let them know we were publishing it. We never reveal sources and don't want to provide too much information to divulge the program and coach involved; but here's the issue. We were told that the coach has been notified that this upcoming game will be his last with the program; but that's tricky if the team hasn't been told. 

At some programs, the SID would not even return the call / email. At some programs he'd give the party line, "I can't discuss that" or "I have no knowledge..."  

Tonight was different and that's why we're writing this article. Tonight, the SID responded via email nearly immediately to say, "Please hold off publishing that. I'll be back in touch shortly." [Our short blurb on The Scoop had been published for a few minutes and at this time we decided to remove it as a courtesy.] About 5 minutes later the SID emailed again to say, "Let's just say that the agreement has not been completely signed off on and all parties have not been informed. We would appreciate it if you would hold off publishing that until everyone involved knows. When it happens you will be the first person I tell." 

Not every SID would respond like that; but we sure do appreciate it (and find it professional) when they do. In this case, it saved the program involved from having to deal with a very awkward situation. It would be nice if everyone in the business acted as responsibly as this SID did. For those that think we're doing the wrong thing by not publishing the information, think about how you would feel if your wife or son or your players read that you were being let go on the site before you told them yourself. This will play out within a few days. No need to rush the news of a firing. 

On a related note, this morning we saw this tweet from Vanderbilt offensive line coach Herb Hand:

The truth is, we at FootballScoop think rumors are horrible for the profession and we've worked extensively to help coaches deal in reality since I bought FootballScoop nearly five years ago. I personally make a number of calls daily to coaches and sometimes to Sports Information Directors / Media Relations staff to discuss the rumors and offer to set the record straight. If there is something that is not true that is floating around out there that is causing a problem for your staff or your program feel free to give me a call anytime and I'll help set the record straight. 

I'll offer up this final nugget and then I'm out... a wise man once advised me, "Do the right thing, and always tell the truth and you'll never get in trouble." 


Wednesday TV - Games resume tomorrow

No games tonight, but everyone will get to enjoy the traditional NFL games along with two college games (including TCU at Texas) tomorrow night paired with some quality family time and full stomachs. Always a good combination.

Eastern time listed.


No games


No games

High School:

No games

Tennessee just backed up the truck

UT Chancellor Jimmy Cheek made the following announcement today:

As we face a transition in our football program, I want to make it clear that we support a mission of comprehensive excellence in our athletics department. Under the leadership of Vice Chancellor and Athletics Director Dave Hart, we will do the things required to return our team to national prominence. As we begin our search for a new coach, I have assured Dave that he will have the support and resources he needs to be successful.

For the next three years, the money the athletics department has contributed to the campus will be reinvested in the athletics department. Relieving athletics of this commitment will allow the department to add an average of $6 million per year to its bottom line for a total of $18 million over three years.

The money was committed under different circumstances and we now need to allow athletics to use these dollars to attain financial stability and invest in the future.

Most of this money has been used for scholarships and fellowships. We will continue to honor these commitments, primarily through private gifts. Let me emphasize, we will not reduce our commitment to students.

I know that winning championships and competing at the highest level lifts the national profile of the University of Tennessee. As chancellor, I am committed to winning both on the field and in the classroom.

Great sign of commitment to the program. Money won't be an issue in this search. 

Jeff Tedford bought out at Cal

After 11 seasons and an 82-57 record as the head coach at Cal, Jeff Tedford was fired on Tuesday morning. The Golden Bears concluded their 2012 season with a 62-14 loss to Oregon State on Saturday, dropping their record to 3-9. With nearly a dozen years on the job, Tedford was the longest continuously-tenured head coach in the Pac-12 and leaves the program in undeniably better shape than he found it. 

Tedford, who inherited a team that went 1-10 the year before his arrival, led Cal to heights previously unseen, including two 10-win seasons, a share of the 2006 Pac-10 title and one top 10 finish. Tedford's tenure as a head coach and quarterback guru peaked in 2004, when junior college product-turned first round NFL draft pick Aaron Rodgers led the Bears to a 10-2 record, a No. 9 finish and within a hair of beating eventual national champion USC. 

After appearing in seven consecutive bowl games from 2003-09, this season marks the second time in three seasons that Cal will miss a bowl game. The Bears haven't finished a season ranked in the final AP top 25 since 2006. Tedford's position of expertise, quarterback, slipped noticeably this season as the Bears ranked 10th in the Pac-12 in passing yardage and passing efficiency. 

The firing comes just months after Cal AD Sandy Barbour gave Tedford a ringing endorsement

"Jeff Tedford is not on the hot seat. We want to win and we will win with Jeff Tedford...Anybody who wants to talk about Jeff Tedford being on the hot seat, I challenge them to go and look at his body of work, look at what he has done with facilities that would be poor high school facilities. Jeff Tedford has worked miracles at Cal. He's an icon as far as I'm concerned." 

The exact amount of Tedford's buyout is unknown, but Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury - News estimates it to be around $7 million. 

The Tedford era met an unceremonious end as Cal ended the 2012 season on a five-game losing streak in which the Bears were beaten by an average score of 42-14 and the newly-renovated Memorial Stadium sat mostly empty for a nationally televised Friday night game with Washington.

In the official statement delivered by the university, Barbour had this to say: "This was an extraordinarily difficult decision, one that required a thorough and thoughtful analysis of a complex set of factors," she said. "Ultimately, I believed that we needed a change in direction to get our program back on the right track."


Below is a statement from Jeff Tedford:

“I want to thank the University of California for the opportunity to be a part of this great university and community. I am so grateful to all of the coaches, players and support staff for playing such a vital role in making Cal Football relevant while enjoying winning seasons nine of 11 years. All involved can feel a great sense of pride with their sacrifice, contributions and commitment that have made it possible to have the winningest tenure in Cal Football history. We all can be very proud of helping to build a renovated Memorial Stadium that will have a positive impact on many athletes, fans and staff members for years to come. I will never forget the most gratifying part of these last 11 years, and that has been the relationships with the players I have had the special opportunity to watch grow academically, physically, socially and spiritually. To watch this process and be a part of their growth and development has been a blessing. The Tedford family is blessed to have built so many great relationships and create memories that will last a lifetime. I am most proud that through the sacrifices we have made over the last 11 years, my wife and two sons are the foundation and joy of my life. We wish the university much success – Go Bears!”

Tedford is a good man. 

Middle Tennessee head coach Rick Stockstill gets raise, extension

After leading his team to a 20-12 victory over South Alabama on Saturday, Middle Tennessee head coach Rick Stockstill triggered a $100,000 raise and contract extension through July 2019. 

Stockstill's contract, signed in 2009, mandates a $100,000 raise and an additional year added to his contract by meeting the three following benchmarks: an APR of 940 or higher, no major NCAA infractions and an overall winning record or five Sun Belt wins. With that clause, Stockstill can add a total of five years and $500,000 to his contract. 

The win moved the Blue Raiders to 7-3 on the season (5-1 in Sun Belt play) and, with two more games and the possibility of a Sun Belt championship on the horizon, Stockstill's salary could reach $725,000 this year.

“Nobody thought we could do what we’ve done this year,” Stockstill told the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. “I think everybody picked us seventh or eighth (in the Sun Belt). With two weeks to go, we are still in first. I’m very proud of this team. I love this team.”

In his seventh season at Middle Tennessee, Stockstill is 42-43 overall and is in pursuit of his second conference title and fourth bowl bid. 

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