Writing about subjects like recruiting has a certain immediacy to it. That immediacy can be useful as a driver to dig around to uncover big stories, but it can also result in fairly big whiffs. The Jeff Luc article I wrote a couple of weeks ago is certainly one of the latter occasions.
In that article, I reported as fact that Jeff Luc had committed to play for K-State. While I included my surprise at this development, and noted that KSU lacked a scholarship to offer Luc, my claim was clear–and was clearly wrong.
You see, Jeff Luc committed to play at Cincinnati today. Cincinnati has landed a fantastic linebacker, and one whom I felt, right up until this past weekend, was a lock for KSU.
I cited Ryan Wallace’s ”Friday Findings” column over at GoPowerCat (in which he reported the same thing) toward the end of my story. I should make it perfectly clear that I viewed Ryan’s story only as confirmation of what I’d heard independently of him. The “report” cited in the title was my own, and I own the mistake I made in putting it out there.
So, what happened?
First, if what I’m hearing now is true–and I have no reason to believe it’s not–Luc really was excited about K-State, and wanted to come here. It was believed by Luc and his people that a scholarship could be found to facilitate that. That scholarship never became available, and Luc was not willing to pay his own way as a walk-on during his transfer year.
Secondly, I simply let myself get caught up in what was a really great “get” for K-State. My status as a fan of the school clouded my better judgment. I have a policy for things that are published on this website that “one source is enough, if you trust that source completely.” I abide by this with any story that doesn’t have the potential to adversely affect any actual person. On stories dealing with individual people’s lives, I always require the more traditional “two source” rule. While I cited Wallace’s reporting at the end of my own story, I did not talk to Wallace, and I do not know who his source was. In my mind, that was double-sourcing, but in retrospect, it was not.
Again, I am not looking to deflect criticism in any way for this miss. It was a big one, and I wear every inch of it. I’ll do my best to be better in the future, and I apologize to my readers for being so wrong on this story.