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Golf, gold, decisions

Frehsman Camila Serrano took medalist honors with an 8-under 208 and FIU's 859 team score gave them a 12-stroke win over Kennesaw State in the Amelia Island Collegiate.

Sophmores Meghan MacLaren and Sophie Godley swapped spots (third and fourth) after McLaren shot a 3-over 75 to close and Godley put forth a 6-over 78 in the final round. Serrano held on for the win only after beating Daytona State's Tiffany Chan in an 18th hole playoff (literally an 18th hole playoff -- they played the 18th four times).

FUNDING VOLLEYBALL

http://www.gofundme.com/FIUVolleyball. They're up to $195 as of right now. Their goal is $6,000.

WISEMAN

As several of you hasve asked, from my end, here's what went into deciding to do today's story on Dennis Wiseman.

A young woman sent Tweets to several different people about Wiseman, his past and Saturday. I don't know Wiseman. His last year at FIU ended the academic year before I started my first run covering FIU. I might have had occasion to write his name in 1990 as a key departure from the baseball team from the previous year. I didn't know about what happened at North Miami High. When it happened, I was a Panthers/NHL reporter enjoying the time off between the Panthers getting knocked out of the playoffs that spring and the Stanley Cup Final. If I did read it in our Local section back then, I long ago dumped it from my memory banks.

Anyway, after seeing the woman's Tweet, I searched several public records on Wiseman. I found the progression of the case through the court system and his registration among several other facts. I also found what was written on the case after Wiseman's arrest. With information from these places, I called my immediate superior and laid everything out with "Here's what we have. What do we do with it?"

After all, this isn't some coaching change, schedule change or a recruiting commit. That's stuff you get out with all necessary haste, if you can. Blog post, hit it, it's out. I can make those decisions on my own. For stories like this, I can have my opinion, but it better be expressed in discussions with editors before that opinion is acted on one way or the other.

That editor told me to wait while he went up the chain of command. It's obviously a sensitive topic, on at least two levels. He came back with, "Write it." I called the FIU media relations department, asked who was in charge of selecting Wiseman and said I would like to speak with that person. Soon after, I was told he'd been on the football team plane several times so I also asked to speak to Pete Garcia. The answers to these requests are in today's paper.

I got Wiseman's cell phone number Monday night, called and left a message with my cell phone number. We waited until 10 p.m. before moving ahead with the story, sans comment from Wiseman. My cell phone stayed on until 1:30 a.m. He didn't call. (Wiseman called me this morning. As he wished the conversation to stay private, that'll all I'll say about it.)

I had nothing to do with the headline or story placement. Aside from blog posts and a few stories posted directly online, I haven't written a headline or picked the page/space for a story since the Indiana Daily Student.

Comments

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Thanks for the follow up on the Wisman story DJN. Seems like a pretty simple solution to not having yet another embarrassing story behind our alma mater's name. Don't have a registered sex offender throw out the first pitch for the school's opening baseball game. 1+1=2 last time I checked.

It's unfortunate that you have to explain your writing as often as you do (though I don't know if other MH writers do it as much as you and I certainly appreciate how responsive you are to your readership). I think in a perfect world, journalism explains itself.

However, the bottom line is that it was not a good look for you because it seems like the general consensus on the article is that it was an intentionally inflammatory piece. Whether or not it was your decision to write the article, you are still the person who must take the credit/blame for writing it.

Furthermore, I believe that, considering the high rate of recidivism for sex offenders, the fact that he has not recidivated and that the crime was committed quite some time ago, the harm of publishing this article probably outweighs the benefit.

The Point, I agree with a lot of what you're saying. An argument could definitely be made for the Herald's negative slant towards FIU, and how the paper seems to jump at any chance to throw some mud at the university. Unfortunately, there has been a good amount of negativity surrounding the athletic department for the past couple of years. That being said, FIU needs to be able to get out of its own way, this Wiseman situation being a prime example of that.

Please, the herald creams itself anytime there's a negative FIU story. In this case, a story 17 years in the making. I guess FIU could never honor Garrett now. Can I give you the Herald headline from that. Accused Rapist Honored by FIU. Give me a break, take another vacation or go cover other non FIU related items. Herald, please put a recent college grad to cover FIU. Cover it the way that Dieter (recent college grad) covers fau at the SS and you will get no complaints Go F I U.

FIU_DC, I don't think the MH (and certainly not DJN) necessarily or intentionally put a negative slant on FIU stories and I agree that FIU Athletics makes enough of its own bad news. I just think that this article, when considered on its individual merit, was a non-news item that ends up hurting more people than it helps.

I am the type of person who believes that, when given a chance, people who do bad things can serve their punishment and come out a better person on the other side. I suppose he will always have that on his record and anyone is free to dig that info up and do with it what they like, but he is not a habitual or even a repeat offender. To remind him of something like this (and it's pretty likely he noticed) serves only to remind him that something dumb he did a long time ago and served his time for is still following him around and that no matter how hard he tries to be a successful, productive person moving forward and no matter how much good he can potentially do in this world, this will always follow him around. Because of this, I fail to see how the article has a positive effect on our community.

Also, I don't where those tweets came from, but I can't find them. Not saying they don't exist, but would just like to know more about the person who tweeted them since it seems she was the only one tweeting about it. Twitter is not exactly a private forum. Was it his vengeful ex-wife? A business competitor? A victim? The credibility and possibly the motive of the source is as important as the source.

DJN I have been vocal in defending The Herald and you on this venue and others. I still believe that you are a fine journalist and I don't think you have an ax to grind against FIU.

With this said,it is important to note that a 4-game sweep of Rutgers in baseball (using as an example) will never get the attention of your editor b/c as you have explained (and makes sense) there isn't as vast an interest in FIU athletics as there is for UM. I agree. However, ridiculing FIU baseball and a young man that has served his sentence and paid his dues is acceptable to The Herald b/c it will get readership. If this is not a double standard then I don't know what is.

And let me be clear, as an editor of a newspaper I too would go with a salacious story over a 4 game sweep (just an example). But, I would certainly see the hypocrisy in then denying extra coverage to FIU athletics (such as UM gets). This is crystal clear hypocrisy and does speak volumes of UM's preferred treatment in the community (whether well-deserved or not). Please remember that I am 100% in favor of journalistic freedom and understand wise business decisions. But this doesn't mean that this double-standard doesn't stink.

Didn't mean to say young man as Mr. Wiseman isn't that young. And the source of the tweets is one Amy Wynnchester @Amybionerd86.

I should have said the source appears to be Amy Wynnchester. It also appears that she is not hiding this fact at all as she has tweeted on the subject on her twitter address.

The Point, yep, I wrote it. My name on it. I even take responsibility for the "Friday" instead of "Saturday" mistake, which I thought I'd corrected before we posted/ran the story. Hey, I could've just sat on all the information after I had it, making the unilateral decision that what had happened was so long ago as to be irrelevant. I didn't.

I just thought I'd lay out the decision-making process.

FIUPantherFan, funny enough, FAU often has their issues with Dieter. And it was UM graduate Dan LeBatard, out of college for as long as Dieter has been, who uncovered the mess that put UM on probation.

And not to be obvious, but Wittels case never went to trial and his accusers were rebuked. Wiseman plead out. Big honkin' difference.

You bring up vacation. You complained when I used vacation time to be with my mother during triple bypass surgery and recovery, and my family during our annual wedding anniversary/beach house vacation (blogged from both, by the way)? Then complained about how often I was writing during a time I logged mucho overtime and an editor passed by my desk with, "Ah, the one writer who is actually writing for our section...?" (I guess you didn't like that all the stories weren't on FIU).

In complaining that I have a life, you demonstrate that you need to get one. Or, at least a little perspective.

DJN, I know you wrote it and own it. You're pretty credible when it comes to this stuff and generously transparent about the decision making process IMO. I was just pointing out that, for better or worse, when your superior tells you to write a column, it's not him/her that has to own the story, it's you that will receive the fallout/praise from it even though it is really out of your hands.

FWIW, of the three or so news outlets she tweeted it at, the MH was the only one to run a story on it.

I guess my ultimate point is that one who does bad can also do good and vice versa. How long should we harp on the bad? How much does that affect someone's ability to change? And is it more important to punish/avenge people than it is to heal/help people?

I'm not questioning your morality or anything, I'm just questioning whether the motive behind the decision that was made to run a story about a 17 year old sex offender case will affect our community in a positive or negative way.

That's my point, the Wittels case never went to trial, but the Herald would still have that headline, after all he was "accused" so it would be correct. The point being, that it would paint FIU in the worse possible light which is the modus operandi of your newspaper when it comes to FIU. I don't begrudge you doing higher profile stuff, I get it and I wish that would be your full time job too. Getting someone who is out of college would mean that he/she would have less "life" distractions and would want to prove themselves. You mistake me for someone that wants FIU biased news. As a matter of fact, bring on real shortcomings out of this department, the faster to get rid of PG. This is not that, this is just a story to embarras the University and a man which paid his dues to society for a crime he committed 17 years ago. Thanks for your suggestion to get a life. Fortunately, spotting bias and poor attempts at journalism takes a very minimal amount of time and I get to lead a very good life indeed, including my indulgence in FIU sports. Go F I U!

DJN,

Can you verify any truth to a rumor circulating about with regard to the current FIU AD, University President and the University BOT Chair being investigated by the State University System's office of the Chancellor ?

The Miami Herald is also the only one with a reporter who has FIU as part of his duties. See, there are upsides to being ignored by the news media except for the outlet whose higher ups hear complaints every time somebody's unhappy with coverage.

Your last two paragraphs pose solid questions.

FIUPantherFan, what I was writing about during the time you were complaining wasn't necessarily higher profile stuff. It was just other stuff.

And, as I've often stated, I had the highest profile beat at this paper. I asked for this one when it came open. And Adam Beasley can tell you how often I've sent him texts juxtaposing whatever we're doing at a given time with "I win."

I understand. You want someone hungry, who would report on things from vacation...oh...or, yeah, would work a 22-hour day mostly covering FIU stuff when he has no FIU responsibilities that day...oh...would hang out around campus just to run into and chat with folks, doing that networking reporting thing even when he has no reason to be there...oh, wait...

The fact that you consider open heart surgery of an immediate family member or get huffy because I refused to skip my wedding anniversary for media day for a football team that draws less than my wedding says you have no perspective.

By the way, I also take vaca during my kid's spring break. Lazy bum that I am...

Yes, I want someone who would find out why 2 coaches left after a promise of a new stadium was broken, why coaches are fired all the time, yet the underachieving women's basketball program maintains their coach, what is being done to address the game day issues that always pop up (you know the ones you take photos of when you want to embarras the university), etc. Thanks for diminishing those kinds of stories. Of course, that might not be sexy enough for your editors or yourself, but that's the kind of information that FIU fans are interested in, at least it is if you ask this FIU fan and Herald reader. I'm not even going to address the other items you bring up which are merely a distraction technique to try and get sympathy from others, as you said yesterday "to make that jump, even by sarcasm, from what I just wrote is something I'd expect from my 8-year-old." Thanks for the cute reply. Go F I U!

There's only a question why one coach left. If you think FIU head coach to LA Galaxy assistant while working with your father isn't a vertical jump, you're delusional. As for the other coach, gee, I haven't been trying to find that out at all. I haven't filed any public records requests, refiled records requests when I thought things had been left out, asked anybody about what happened, blah, blah, blah. Because that departure looked fishy.

By the way, maybe they'll tell you what happened to Eric Campbell's last evaluation. It seems a mystery over there.

2. Yeah, the women's hoop team underachieves to the point of firing the coach (eye roll...). You'll have a new coach in a year or two anyway.

3. So, which is it? Am I supposed to ignore the game day screwups or write about them? Wait, I haven't written about them? Oh, and if I wanted to embarrass FIU, I'd have a field day with the press box.

4. I don't bring up anything for sympathy. But, as you seem very dissatisfied with me, my work ethic, etc., you can call Jorge Rojas or Aminda Marques Gonzalez at The Herald to complain.

The account @amybionerd86 has 74 tweets...
Before the tweets to local media the account had the following tweets:
Sex Offenders rationalize their behavior..ezinearticles
Characteristics of Sex Offenders ...
Sex misconduct plaguing schools by NBC news
Effects of sexual assault by RAINN.org
Curtis High School teacher arrested for sexual misconduct (6days ago)
Authorities investigating Estero HS teacher...

Pattern?

As for the tweets on FIU and Wiseman, the account solicited Pete Pelegrin, FIUNews, MiamiNewTimes,MiaminewsNow, heraldOPed,DennisWiseman himself, SperazaFIU, Assistant coach Damas,

More stuff from the amybionerd account:

Dating back back 618 days the account retweeted story on a Miami teacher arrested in child sex sting..

14 days ago Broward school bus accused of groping teen..

What is lost in all the above arguments is the following:
1. Why would Wiseman accept a framed jersey and throw the first pitch in a public setting?
2. If FIU knew about his past; why would they honor him in a public setting in a geographical area where the crime was perpetuated?

No.2 speaks volumes about the ineptitude of our Athletic staff.

On No.1 only Dennis can answer.

DJN it is clear to me that the account is set up with one goal, purpose, a clear agenda. They could be running key words such as child/sex/abuse/sex offender names to filter content and retweet info. The Herald probably runs similar filters for AP articles.

You were fed the tweet and fell into someone's agenda hook, line, and sinker. You did the research and passed it on. Your bosses whom we know jump at chances to smear FIU salivated, placed a nasty header and put it up.

The bottom line you were used. The school failed to recognize the possible bad press, and the New Times had more journalistic integrity than the Miami Herald.

Oh, Bernon, silly rabbit...of course someone had an agenda. Do you know how many stories get broken/started because someone has an ax to grind and wish to use the media to grind that ax? Every reporter you've read for more than a year gets "used" in that way. (Cue Bill Withers' "Use Me.")

What's funny is the two questions you ask are the exact reason many people who have nothing to do with FIU saw nothing wrong with the story. No. 2 was what I wanted to ask either Turtle Thomas or Pete Garcia. No. 1 was what a number of people asked me the last two days.

The article written was directed at Mr. Wiseman and had no basis to be published. To also bring up his work history is outlandish and irrelevant. I see no reason why this became a story and more importantly on the front page. It's unfortunate what happened 17 years ago, but its exactly that (17 years ago). Mr. Wiseman has been a productive person in society, has a family and is more than generous with FIU and other charitable functions. And I would be this article would affect his family and chi,dren more negatively then it already has impacted his life so far.
Terrible article. No reason for it. And maybe someone should check the credentials of the person who tweeted it (listed above in previous mentions).

Mr. Wiseman only knew he was throwing out the first pitch - not receiving a framed jersey.

She didn't tweet an article, Interested Individual. She tweeted the fact that he's a registered sex offender. That's all.

And, my first question after researching what happened back in '97 was "what's he been doing, where's he been working from then until now?" That's a logical question, especially as what happened occurred on the job. That's why I included his work history. There's nothing "outlandish" about that.

I didn't say she tweeted an article. Meant tweeted something to you and various other individuals. If you check timelines, she tweeted his information to various individuals after Mr. Wiseman thanked the university and coaching staff for their gesture of having him throw out the first pitch and give him a jersey. Vindictive individual the person Amy is.....if that really that person. I guess now every university should do background checks on individuals who they wish to honor in whatever way they wish to do it.

Lol...

David, If you are going use my name please use the correct spelling. BERNNON

But my friends call me chia or chiapanther. You addressed none of the two points in your article, these are the only points that matter. It was left as...."but they will not return calls."

Never knew that an article posted nearly 4 days after the opening pitch would be so critical to run that couldn't wait a few more.

Or I guess the amybionerd put so much pressure on the Herald that it had to be released...Lol.

Let's be clear I'm not defending the school and specially that moronic Athletic Director. Dennis Wiseman has moved on with his life and so may have the then young lady he assaulted.
The reality is FIU should not have placed themselves, the victim, nor Dennis in a position to have the issue brought back after 17 years.

I question why all the other media outlets who were sent the tweet did not act like a gitty school girls. I wonder why the most sensational newspaper in SoFl didn't run with the story...
Because it is a border line story at best. Definitely not one in the sports page, but in the local section.

But that's OK. You were fed information and led like sheep or cattle.

I'm wondering how long it will be before those children leading our athletic department stop granting you any access to coaches or players.

Goodnight David.

Chia, go back and read.

Turtle refused comment through a department spokesman. Pete Garcia refused through a spokesman. Dennis Wiseman got my message and didn't want to talk.

That's not "We're still trying to reach them, so let's hold the story." That's "They just gave us a "No comment.'" That's not something you outwait.

And the edict you anticipate might've already come down. We'll see today and tomorrow.

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