« Shannon "misspoke" | Main | Courtside blog: UM 66, St. John's 47 (F) »

Time to defend myself

I know some of you have taken offense to some of the latest blogs, taken the Randy Shannon Q&A and the correction I ran yesterday as if I was trying to put down The U, make coach Shannon look bad or generate some sort of controversy.

If anyone of you know anything about me, nothing could be further from the truth. I was born in this city and have lived it in for 29 years. I grew up at the Orange Bowl. Am I a journalist? Yes. That's my job. But I also feel like a member of this community first and foremost. I love my job. I love covering the University of Miami. I love watching the kids in our neighborhoods grow up first hand, from their high school days until the day they get drafted. I consider it a privilege. I'm saddened, even to tears in some occasions, when the are tragically shot and killed the way Sean Taylor was earlier this week.

Since Taylor was shot on Monday, I've been requested -- like many other reporters who cover the Canes -- to talk about the incident. The O'Reilly Factor called. ESPN. FoxNews. Randyshannon CNN. Everybody who called wanted two things -- information on the investigation and for me to talk about "the ongoing dilemma at the University of Miami." You know what is happening. You aren't stupid. You've seen how the national media has wanted to come in here and smear The U. They want to throw more dirt on it and use Taylor as its excuse. I haven't wanted to be a part of it -- at all. I could care less about face time, fame. This story isn't about me. It's about Sean Taylor and nothing else. The only interview I did was with CNN -- and that's because they came down to the BankUnited Center, where I was covering a basketball game, to do it.

The first question thown my way: Why does this keep happening at the University of Miami? My response was simple and sounded a lot like coach Shannon's on Tuesday -- this has nothing to do with the University of Miami. There's only been one murder on this campus and that was Marlin Barnes, I told the reporter. We talked for 10 more minutes about Bryan Pata and how people around here really feel about it and how they are upset and hope Taylor's investigation doesn't last nearly as long.

On Tuesday, when Susan Miller Degnan and I spoke with coach Shannon. All I wanted to do, aside from finding out more about this team, was give him a place to defend his program. I knew what was coming. I knew what some of the people in my profession we're going to come with. So, we threw him a question so he could say what he wanted about Miami's image. He defended it. Since I was taught to do my job the right way, I wasn't about to censor anything he said. I gave it to you just like it came out of his mouth. That's my job, last I checked.

Fast forward a day, I get up and before I can even turn on my laptop, Susan is calling me. Coach Shannon's Q&A has already been edited -- without my permission -- and there is a storm brewing from Florida Gator and Ohio State fans who aren't happy with what Shannon said. In this profession, when somebody says something factually wrong, it is our responsibility to clarify it and not mislead the reader. Shannon spoke of his best friend, Walter Odom, being shot and killed in Gainesville. He "misspoke." Odom never got shot and killed in Gainesville. But he was stabbed at a party. I should have never posted it. I should have checked that fact before hand. I didn't. I was wrong. It needed to be corrected. We fixed it and ran a correction. Before that, I called UM Sports Information director Mark Pray to try to give coach a shot at correcting himself. Maybe, he got confused. Pray didn't want to make more of it, so he declined my request and said Shannon simply "misspoke."

You want to call me irresponsible for trying to fix a mistake, go ahead. But one thing you should never confuse me for is somebody trying to put this university down or trying to put coach Shannon in a position to say something wrong. If he does that on his own, that's not my fault. I can't answer for him. In the end, all he was trying to do was protect this school's image which has taken more of a beating than anyone else in America. All he was trying to do was remind people that the University of Miami isn't the only school in America who has had athletes get in trouble or get shot and killed. All he was trying to do is make sure people don't forget the only Hurricane to get into an off-the-field issue this season was freshman Robert Marve. Did he go too far to make his point? I'm sure Gator, Buckeyes and some other fans feel that way. Did he give me some misinformation about Odom? Yes.

But one thing he didn't do was censor himself. He said exactly how he felt. And all I did was report it in it's entirety, without a slant, without an agenda. I'm sorry if you guys have a problem with that. But last I checked that was my job. And that's all I'm trying to do, even if others in my line of work don't know how to do it without getting their fingers dirty.

The greatest irony here is that so many people outside of this profession complain about how quotes or comments are taken out of context. I give you the whole pie and now some of you want to take it out of context to serve your own agenda. And I'm the bad one!


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.
correction: jason mitchell ... GOTCHA

your football stadium is 30 miles from your campus

Posted by: Tad Foote | November 30, 2007 at 10:27 PM http://hurricanesports.cstv.com/sports/dolphin-stadium/mifl-dolphin-stadium-body.html
get your facts straight ... only 21 miles separates U from our incomparable cathedral ...

A marginal school

Posted by: Tad Foote | November 30, 2007 at 10:27 PM http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/usnews/edu/college/rankings/brief/t1natudoc_brief.php
u.s. news -- the industry bible -- disagrees ... University of Miami (founded 1925) ranked #52; fu (founded 1853) ranked #49; osu (founded 1870) ranked #57 ... who's marginal?

state of the U

If Miami had the powerful alumni that Michigan and Ohio State had they would not be Miami!!!

Posted by: Tad Foote | November 30, 2007 at 10:27 PM
House Speaker Marco Rubio brought home the bacon for his alma mater ...

Joe Zagacki is your play by play man---You Are Blanked!!!

Posted by: Tad Foote | November 30, 2007 at 10:27 PM touche'

at the stroke of midnight ... University of Miami Hospital was born

Thanks for not talking to the national media, especially ESPN, Fox, or O'Reilly (The latter is a MASTER of character assassination. It's amazing he hasn't been sued by someone long before now. He must have very good lawyers because he's been doing this long before his "O'Reilly Factor" show was on the air. Just a slimeball. And it's not a liberal vs. conservative thing either. He's an equal opportunity mudslinger. Guess it's good for ratings.)

As for the rest of the media, especially ESPN, let's just say I don't listen to or watch any of them. They're just vile. Maybe not to BillO's extent, but vile nonetheless. It's time for UM grads, fans, and students to whole bunch out.

UF and OSU fans should just shut up. I'm tired of listening to them and their holier-than-thou attitudes. A lot has been shoved under the rug at both schools and we all know it.

You've corrected the error, Manny. That's all you needed to do. Keep up the good work.

Should read "to call the whole bunch out". Sorry for the typo.

orladosentinel's mike bianchi (fu alum, fu hitman, fu midget): "Not only has Randy Shannon's coaching been called into question at the University of Miami, but so, too, has his credibility. In an interview with the Miami Herald this week about the recent shooting death of former UM player Sean Taylor, Shannon defended UM against its reputation as 'Thug U' and claimed players and former players at many big-time schools get involved in shooting incidents. He backed up his contention by saying: 'My best friend, Walter Odom, got killed at the University of Florida, shot, when I was in school at Miami.' One problem with Shannon's quote: The incident with Odom, a former UF tight end, never happened. Odom died in Miami at age 36 -- 15 years after he left UF. And he died after a long illness, not after being shot. A UM spokesperson later told the Herald that Shannon 'misspoke,' but how can you be so wrong about the death of your best friend?"

who's lying now? that POS bianchi omits odom's stabbing in wholesome gainesville ... LYING BY OMISSION

My curiosity question of the day.....Do any of you know if there of a web site that actually tracks the number of legal problems of football players at each of the colleges around the country?
or the number of suspensions at each college?

M: fulmer cup

HELP WANTED! For all those media types who want to hurt the U and its recruiting, because they don't want a resurgent Miami team, do THREE THINGS to stop this false impression about what's happening on our campus and what is not.
First, check for live brain cells.Second, if you find any, please give them a map so that they can know where to look for what they want. Third, if possible, diagram how to get to the bathroom from anywhere in their own house. We certainly would not want them not to know where that room is , would we?

radio affiliates for the ACC Championship

Green - Thanks....Fascinating!!!
This should be referenced in every article that even suggests The U is still Thug U

duke to hire paul johnson?

les rebuffs his alma mater

usatoday's christine brennan: "The University of Miami football season is over, yet the program is in the news again. Of course it is. That's the thing about Miami football. For good or for bad, it's always in the news." ICON


No need to defend yourself when you are in the right...Honestly the one that should appologize is Shannon. I am a big Shannon supporter and hope that his is our head coach for a Paternoesque tenure, but there is no way that he 'misspoke'. You misspeak when quoting Shakespear, not when you're having a conversation about your best friend's death. Like I said on the other blog, tragedy is a brand...not a papercut.

Manny the two things that I know about you is that you'd maliciously attack any member of the local highschool football community or anyone connected to the University of Miami family. Don't listen to the critics, just do what you do bro.

Manny, we Cane Fans need a voice to help us counter the smear campaign by the national media. We have the facts in our favor. GO CANES

Manny I really enjoy reading your blogs and keep up the good work.

I recently read an article someone had written about the bad press that Miami receives and everyone calling Miami "THUG U" and he had the exact sentiments as Shannon. He also stated "I defy you to name a school that does not have problems with guns, drugs, violence and sexual assault". A commentor then stated "I defy you to name a school with more criminals than Thug U" I was very upset by this and I then looked up the arrests of FSU, UF and Va Tech. UF had more than 8 student athletes arrested within the last year and one who test positive for steroids so, they're not only criminals, they cheat. How many Canes got arrested this year?? GO CANES!!

Like I said, thank you for ebing a responsible journalist man.

"The O'Reilly Factor called. ESPN. FoxNews."

If you had gone on O'Reilly (who doesn't know what journalism is and just smears his profession) or Faux News I would be boycotting this blog on grounds that you'd haev no integrity. Good call.

Good job Manny, with the need for speed in this world many of us do not even have the real oppurtunity to do our job. In haste we all make mistakes. Those of us who feel the same pressures in our own jobs understand how this happens!

Go Canes! What a crazy football year! i think with all this chaos no reason the warriors should not have a chance to play for a title!


Keep your head up playboy, everyone has to pay the bills somehow. Your ;love for the U shows in the majority of your blogs/articles.

RIP #26

If you were born here and you are such a huge fan what about a little objectivity and positive press?

I am gay and gay men are more intelligent than straight men!


I have cream on my donut. Beat that.


Do your job the best you can, be honest, be fair. You have already established a strong readership.
I appreciate your writing style being factual, without the soap opera drama others in your profession feel is necessary.

have a great Holiday Season

Undecided Recruits,

Yes, the U is hated, by ESPN, OSU, FSU, UF and others. Why all this hate? Why the spread of these malicious lies? Simple, success!! When you kick ass on these schools for so many years, some of their players land jobs on ESPN, newspapers and other media outlets and seek revenge by spreading lies and blowing things out of proportion.

If your kicker gets attacked you do what you have to do to protect him. If the U players wear fatigues or put up four fingers to signify that the 4th quarter is ours, so be it! If we are thugs for that, than we are thugs.

The U is a great private school with a rich football history. We earned 5 National Championships (should be at least 7), a record 58 straight wins at home, we have a plethora of players playing on Sundays who are loyal to the U and will be here to work with you, and we are the envy of other institutions.

Now we've had a couple down years. We need players who will bleed orange and green and will leave it all on the field. That when you put up those four fingers you, your foe and us, your fans, will have no doubt that the U will come home with a W.

If the ST incident worries you, that had nothing to do with the U. Like Danny Rolling (Serial Killer) had nothing to do with UF, like Ted Bundy (Serial Killer) had noting to do with FSU, the ST murder had nothing to do with the U. ST of course was another great U player who refined his skills at the U, and was feared for his play on the field. He too was a first round pick and destined to the NFL hall a fame. RIP Sean.

So if you fear success, playing in the NFL, or get nervous to the point where you are unable to complete a pass, tackle or run over or through your foe you need not apply. Go play for those other schools. If you can kick some ass on the field regardless of how many stars Rival puts before your name, the U WANTS YOU!!!

Manny, Living here in Ohio State country, I am constantly amazed at how the media here covers up the issues with OSU. For all our isues, we have never had anyone as stupid or criminal as Maurice Clarett. His past was known and OSU took a chance on him. Now he can't even make a minor-league indoor football team with out criminal issues following him.
I don't believe Miami is any worse than any other city. Heck, Ohio has more cities in the top 20 for crime.
Also, look at Switzer at Oklahoma in the 80's. I think some of the over publicizing of "The U" is simple jealousy at how a small school could so good for so long.
After watching this team, I believe the issue is upperclass leadership. These young men did not go through the crucible of the late 80's when we wer rebuilding and those guys (Ed Reed, Ken Dorsey, et. al.) all had a fire inside I haven't seen the past couple of years. Maybe these freshmen have it and can "infect" the rest of the team.

Where is the outrage?

Where is the outrage over the worst UM football season in over a quarter of a century?

How about the worst Orange Bowl loss ever, EVER!

We learned how to love to lose in the 1950s and 1960s. Are we back there again?

Repeat where is the outrage?

Randy Shannon said his BEST FRIEND was shot and killed at UF in 1989. He actually died of illness in 2002. If this is how RS keeps track of his BEST FRIENDS, it makes one wonder how many friends Randy Shannon has. If he is unaware of the existence of his BEST FRIEND for thirteen years, it suggests he is not very good at relationships. In any case, attacking the reputation of other universities is not an effective way to defend the reputation of the University of Miami.

Utah Cane: friends like you, who needs enemies ...

Sean Taylor,it can't any sadder than that.
Randy S. hasn't shown me anything yet,just a boring,losing team,UM losing to NC,NCS,VA is lke being bitten to dead by a duck! Give him two more years. Shallala should go now,Paul Dee should go now.
I have followed The Cane's since 1960,and the 2007 team was a disgrace.
My mother could call plays better and she died in 2002.A boring,boring team with no heart.

Texas A&M had two players charged with armed robbery and the media isn't rushing to smear Texas A&M. Why no coverage on that? This was armed robbery for cryin out loud.

Why don't you cover that?


DeeC: don't you know ... only U fit the narrative

« 1 2 3

The comments to this entry are closed.