In the months since the Big Ten announced it had intentions to expand, we've had a lot of rumors thrown at us. The mother of all of them, of course, was this Bleacher Report post in February suggesting that Pitt was about to join the Big Ten. It was naturally met with much skepticism, especially here at BSD, where we've never had a whole lot of use for the Bleacher Report.
It also touched a nerve with KDKA Pittsburgh's Bob Pompeani, who tweeted in the hours after the report came out
the irresponsiblity of internet blogging is out of control nothing will happen until the next 90 days.lets put an end to the rumors 4 now
Mondesi's House was none too pleased with the tweet and the perceived cheap shot at bloggers for starting the whole Pitt-to-the-Big Ten-thing and posted as such.
Well, Bob turned out to be right about the Pitt rumors, and so did we. But you wouldn't be able to tell that from an interview Pompeani did with Mondesi's House yesterday...
Mondesi's House: Recently, you were critical of blogs in their coverage of the "Pitt to the Big 10" rumors. As you know, I took offense to your broad criticism of blogs, arguing that it is very dangerous to paint an entire group with a broad brush. I know that you would like to clarify your comments on the issue, so please take us back to those remarks and explain your position.Bob Pompeani:I guess it was two months or so ago, when world spread quickly about Pitt not only heading to the Big Ten, but according to some blogs, that announcement would happen Friday of that week...essentially two days away. I knew, without a doubt, that was never going to happen, that week, as I had just spoken to Mark Nordenberg about that very issue. He said no talks were scheduled and didn't even think a decision about Big Ten Expansion would take place in the next 6 months. That is why I took exception to all those unnamed bloggers who were spreading rumors as if they were news. I have no problem with people expressing themselves but, with anyone capable of setting up a blog and dispensing information...I think people need to have at least some connection to the subject before commenting on it.Opinions are terrific. Its what sports call-in-shows are all about. But when those opinions are expressed as fact, then I have a big problem...People need to check and accurately state where they get their information before making a blanket statement. Just my opinion.
I admire Pompeani's desire to get things right and not chase wild rumors, but the truth is journalist and traditional media types have whiffed on this story alone many times, like here, here, and here just to name a few.
Sure, anyone can start a blog, but even rumors in the blogosphere don't get momentum without a remotely credible name behind them. What Mr. Pompeani, and a lot of pros like him need to remember is that folks with journalism degrees screw up, too, and more often than not, the rumors bloggers chase hardest trace their roots to a traditional media source.
Again, I don't want to call out Pompeani specifically for bad reporting because he typically does a fine work in fact-checking and verifying, but maybe if some of his colleagues did their jobs better, the industry wouldn't be in decline, and blogs and other mediums wouldn't be growing as fast as they are.
Pompeani also put in his two cents about Pitt and Penn State later on:
MH: Getting back to the topic in question #1: anytime the words "Pitt" and "Penn State" are mentioned in the same sentence, people take notice. How do you feel about the fact that two schools' football rivalry is dead, and do you ever think it will be revived?BP: I certainly want, very badly, to see Pitt and Penn State play football once again. In many ways, that game represented more than anything else in conference play. To me, the only way it will be possible to return this game to the schedule, is thru Big Ten expansion. Penn State appears to have dug in, unwilling to schedule unless its a 2-1 series in their favor. It will absolutely have to be scheduled as a conference game, forcing Penn State to play Pitt....otherwise, it will not occur...Its a shame. For the betterment of the game, They must play football again.
The sad thing for the Big East is that, at least from Pitt's perspective, this is probably true. Playing Penn State again, let alone beating it, would probably mean more to a lot of Pitt's alumni and fans than winning the conference. Pitt can hang its hat on basketball all it wants, but a statement like that is a backdoor admission that even if Pitt football goes on to achieve the height of its potential in the Big East, it'll remain Penn State's petulant teenage brother trapped hopelessly in irrelevance as long as it's stuck in that league.
In Scores of Other Games...
- The baseball team was swept by Minnesota on Sunday at the Homer Dome. The Nitts have now lost five in a row and sit in last place. They'll host the rally masters from Michigan in the final series of the season at Medlar Field at Lubrano Park this weekend, and are going to need some help to make the Big Ten tournament. In some better news, though, catcher Ben Heath is a freak.
- The women's track team capped off the "Triple Crown" by winning the Big Ten outdoor track and field championships over the weekend. Penn State also won the cross country and indoor track championships, so kudos and gradulations to them.
- Franco Harris will be honored by the Big Ten Club of Southern California's as the Person of the Year today for his work with the Special Olympics. Props to gopsusports.com for burying that key information under his career accomplishments.
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