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Crotty ’04 at Celtics

According to this snippet, Michael Crotty ’04 is now the directory of player development at the Boston Celtics. Lest you think that this is some huge EphBlog scoop, I should note that the Williams Sports Information page had this news three days ago. Director of Sports Information Dick Quinn also notes that this site is over 7 years old and has had more than 2,000,000 million visitors, although there are probably a few repeat guests in that measure.

As noted before, Quinn does good stuff on behalf of Williams, but I do have two comments.

First, I am concerned that all the fine work done by Quinn and his staff crowds out less good work that might be done by students. The more that Williams does things for students the less that students learn about doing things for themselves. I would rather have all the news releases about individual game results written by students on those teams rather than by Quinn and his staff. The students would not write as well, but they would learn to write better. And, any teams without coverage would have an incentive to provide some. Crotty would certainly be better off in his career if he had learned more about the PR side of the business while at Williams.

Second, it seems pathetic that Williams does such an incredible job of publicizing its athletic achievements while doing so poorly at bragging on its academics. For example, the Political Science department provides virtually no information on its students doing honors work, past or present.

A College that took its academic life more seriously would do more.

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#1 Comment By Diana On September 19, 2005 @ 4:21 pm

I think 2,000,000 million is a bit much. Perhaps you mean 2 million, either than or 2,000,000.

2,000,000 million would be 3,000 times the population of the Earth, or stated another way, over 9,000 visitors per second. (By the corrected statistic, we have averaged 32 visitors per hour over the past 7 years, which is more believable, and still impressive.)

#2 Comment By Guy Creese ’75 On September 19, 2005 @ 5:05 pm

First, while getting students to do the pages may seem laudable from an educational point-of-view, it adds a lot of extra work to the process. With one person doing it day in and day out, there is an editorial consistency there. In addition, you don’t need to keep retraining someone each year.

Second, welcome to a fact of college life: once you get past the major pages (Admissions, Alumni, Public Affairs) in a college Web site, it’s a free-for-all.

Since an academic department revolves around the professors and students — who see each other all the time — updating and improving the departmental Web site seems like a waste of time. Add to that the belief that college Web site guidelines inhibit personal and intellectual freedom, and inconsistency reigns. (Which includes some departmental sites having a lot of information and others having zilch.)

So incentives/funding will have to shift to get the behavior changes you’re looking for.

#3 Comment By Current Eph On September 19, 2005 @ 8:27 pm

All of the team correspondents who write the press releases about each game are students. There is one student assigned to each team, and they cover 99% percent of the games, unless they have a conflict, in which case another student sports info staff writer fills in. They also enter the stats, correspond with the opposing team, etc etc.

I work there in my off season, so I can fill you in more if you so desire.

#4 Comment By frank uible On September 19, 2005 @ 8:59 pm

Take that you *&^%$#@ know-it-alls!

#5 Comment By David On September 20, 2005 @ 9:44 am

Current Eph,

Yes, please give us the details. We want to know all about how many students work there, how they are selected, what they are paid (can this be a work-study job?), how long they stay, how the work flow happens and so on.

Dick Quinn kindly noted that a dozen of the 40 or so writers are varsity athletes, generally covering other sports. But we want more details . . .

#6 Comment By Anonymous On September 20, 2005 @ 11:12 am

What is this badgering for?

“We?”

“We want to know all about how many students work there, how they are selected, what they are paid (can this be a work-study job?), how long they stay, how the work flow happens and so on.”

Why not their SSN too while you’re at it?

It seems more sensible to bug people in charge with personal emails if you want all this information. In my opinion, alumni are not here simply to wring juicy details out of current students.

#7 Comment By Guy Creese ’75 On September 20, 2005 @ 11:44 am

Yeah, Frank, point noted. My mistake for taking David’s word that the students didn’t do the work. Oh, well, at least the college seems to have sports news updating well in hand.

#8 Comment By Diana On September 20, 2005 @ 1:49 pm

I am pretty sure that the kids who write the articles are not compensated for this; i.e. it’s not a work-study job. In my experience, the team correspondent for the Record pastes that same article into the athletics page (there is a very user-friendly interface). The correspondent writes it ASAP after the athletic event, so that it can be a news release.

#9 Comment By David On September 20, 2005 @ 2:11 pm

1) There is no “badgering” here. The readers of EphBlog are curious about what goes on at Williams. No one has claimed that the operation of the sports information office is somehow secret. Indeed, Dick Quinn has been happy to answer our questions. If you don’t think that the number of students who work in various positions (and their compensation) at the college is a fit topic for discussion, then you are reading the wrong blog.

2) I did not write that “students didn’t do the work.” I knew/know that some of the work done in sports office is done by students and some is done by staff. It was not clear to me before what that breakdown was. I had no idea that 40 students worked on articles. I still think that it would be better if more students on teams wrote articles about their own teams, but this is a minor point. I would also like to see by-lines for the individual articles.

3) An anonymous reader writes: “In my opinion, alumni are not here . . .” To repeat a point made many times before, if you think that alumni are not here for X, then why do so many alumni seem to want to read about X? If you think that alumni would rather read aboout Y, then please provide some of Y.

#10 Comment By Diana On September 20, 2005 @ 7:09 pm

You might try cross-checking the news releases with the Record. At least when reporting about an event, the article is the same. So if you want to know who wrote it, you can always look it up in the Record.

#11 Comment By Anonymous On September 21, 2005 @ 11:08 am

I’m not sure of the total number of students that work at Sports Info, but if Dick Quinn says 40, I’d assume that’s right.

I think many of the students that work there (at least in my case) approached Quinn for th job. Students can work there for work-study, and other students can work there too (but the non-work-study students cannot be paid to work there frosh year, only the rest of the years).

I’m pretty sure that most Sports info writers, once hired, stay with the office for the rest of their time at Williams, taking time off during their athletic season if they play a varsity sport and taking time off if they go abroad.

Students only work on days that the team they’re covering has games. On a typical home game day, the student would go to the game, take some notes, get quotes from the coach and go back to the office to do their write up and stats, which they then would send to the Sports Info office of the opposing school. It does vary a little bit depending on the sport.

So now you are enlightened. :)

#12 Comment By Current Eph On September 21, 2005 @ 12:35 pm

To add to my post above (I forgot to labele it), I haven’t heard about it in the Sports Infor office, but the Record prefers to have someone writing about a team that isn’t a member of that team, which I assume is to provide a more objective take on the game.