This whole thing started earlier this week when Gary Parrish, a CBS writer, reported that Newman will be going to the Bulldogs.
That did not sit well with the Clarion-Ledger, who have been milking story after story from him since Callaway's first title four years ago in their quest for their current four-peat. It got to the point where the High School Sports and Recruiting Editor Courtney Cronin made an online series (such as the ones Ole Miss Football, Basketball, and Baseball and other sports have done) on Newman during his senior year in high school.
Right after Parrish made that report, the CL quickly refuted with a report that Newman's dad said it wasn't true, which turned out to be a flat-out lie, as it was reported after the decision was made public that Newman made his decision a week ago. To top it all, the CL revealed that it was going to have an "exclusive" live feed of Newman's decision no more than a couple hours after Parrish's report was revealed. I didn't watch the feed, since Twitter was going to blow up once the decision has been made public, but through Twitter, it appeared that there was even commercials in there before the decision. That is the CL trying to milk every dollar out of this. On top of that, everyone on Twitter made the opinion that the feed was pretty crappy.
I've had a family member work for the CL years back and has since moved to Arlington, TX (right between Ft. Worth and Dallas), so I know the inside track of what has gone on with the CL in the past. It appears nothing has changed. It is a state-wide paper that desperately needs the clicks and that their budget has never been big enough to go outside of a 30-mile radius from Jackson to cover the entire state. It can be seen from which sports stories they cover. Rarely does any high school sport beyond sometimes football get coverage north of say Canton or any further east than Brandon or any further west than Clinton.
When they do get the chance, like if Oxford Baseball - ranked No. 1 according to their Baseball poll - gets to play Germantown - ranked No. 9 in the same poll - it will get covered WHEN the series goes to Germantown. I doubt they'll cover it when the series goes to Edwin Moak Field. In other words, they'll cover it when it gets convenient for them.
There is a lot of blame to go around. Newman wanted to keep it hidden until this afternoon about his decision, but here are the cold hard facts:
- Newman cancelled all of his recruiting trips last week
- Newman shut his recruitment down and cancelled any other schedule trips on his trail
- Multiple college coaches revealed that his commitment to MSU was "done" Wednesday
That is hard to not think he wasn't going to MSU. Part of that is on him for laying the typical path of "you're committed" symptoms. We now live in an age where being first to report gets the clicks and the $$$. Twitter is the ultimate news source. When Monta Ellis made his decision to go to the NBA Draft back in 2005, Twitter, Facebook, anything real instant wasn't around back then. Sure, there was internet, but you still had to search for it on Google. Newspapers still had some relevance in getting it out there first.
Newman is a national prospect, and nationwide papers are going to try to get their own stories in there, especially as to where he goes for college. Newman wanted to make it special, but he should've been mum about it until then and not lay out the symptoms that he's made his mind up. Newman should've just came out with it instead of having "a moment." He will get A LOT of moments on the national spotlight. He's currently being ranked in the 2016 NBA Draft list for crying out loud. This is just the CL planning this entire thing on the "decision" and trying to make a lot of money off of it, which everyone knows now they didn't get near as much as they wanted from this. The entire online series on Newman is the exact same way.
For those wondering, this website that I currently run I don't make a penny from. It doesn't cost me a penny thanks to the free tools from Weebly, but I don't make a penny from it either. Notice all the blank ad spaces I've failed at selling for the past three years. I don't make anything. I'm typing this on my own accord. Anything I've ever typed is on my own accord.
Parrish stole the CL's thunder, and that is the media "dog-eat-dog" world. He's looking for clicks too. Because Newman is a national product that will be seen for years to come, he has as just as much right to the story as anybody else does. Oxford Baseball is seeing the national exposure now, but I doubt the Daily Journal, the Oxford Citizen (a newspaper owned by the DJ), or the Oxford Eagle will do something as selfish as what the CL foolishly attempted to do since Oxford is usually covered by those three and not the single source that Jackson has. Oxford has DK Metcalf being the stud nationwide recruit he is, but he has long since committed himself to Ole Miss so that decision after his senior year won't be one unless he decides to decommit.
That's my swipe on this situation. Now, I have other swipes as to how Oxford Baseball is covered by our local news stations, but I'll wait to take that shot on here.