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View Full Version : Score One for the GU Board! SD Columnist Relents



ZagNative
03-31-2007, 11:54 PM
Wow! Good work GU Board members who peppered San Diego Columnist Steve Scholfield with the facts about Gonzaga's academic record:

North County Times (http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2007/04/01/sports/scholfield/22_48_283_31_07.txt)


At second glance, 'Zags didn't deserve the zings

By: STEVE SCHOLFIELD - Staff Writer

I have never been good at math. My wife shakes her head when I ask her how come my checkbook doesn't balance. When I was born, the mathematics gene somehow disappeared.

I figured I could keep my deficiency a secret, but not after my column Tuesday that discredited the Gonzaga University basketball team's academic standing.

I received more than 40 e-mails from people accusing me of being unfair and not giving the total picture.


They are correct.

During a press conference to announce the hiring of University of San Diego basketball coach Bill Grier, a former Gonzaga assistant, I asked him about the school's 22-percent graduation rate.

He told me the method was flawed and frankly, after looking at the study by Richard Lapchick of the University of Central Florida's Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports, I didn't believe him.

Lapchick's numbers were accurate, but they are not current. His study did not include a player who began college after 1999.

It was pointed out to me that the NCAA now uses a formula called the Academic Progress Rate (APR) to track its athletes rather than the six-year graduation calculation. That formula emphasizes a student-athlete's progress toward graduation rather than graduation itself.

What does this all prove? For one, Gonzaga's academic performance is significantly better than previous studies have indicated.

Secondly, I didn't do the proper research to fully state my case to the readers, and for that I apologize.

Nothing is more important to me than the trust of the readers, many of you who have read this column for more than 39 years.

Thirdly, maybe all is not lost at USD. I'm still miffed that Snyder fired Brad Holland. But I have to give Grier his due. Maybe he can turn the Toreros into the best mid-major basketball power in the nation while maintaining the school's high academic reputation.

After all, he helped do it at Gonzaga. Hopefully, he can do it here, too.

Thanks to all who helped Mr. Scholfield to see the light, and congrats to him for being big enough to admit he was wrong.

TheZagPhish
04-01-2007, 12:17 AM
Now if some others would only follow suit we might just put this myth to bed, and it won't be propagated again until the next time. ;)

FuManShoes
04-01-2007, 01:09 AM
Was just about to post the article. Who'd a thunk the mighty NCT columnist would eat his words? As refreshing as it is to see this guy devote an entire column to correcting the record, I still feel he deserves a bit of ridicule for carelessly taking his frustration at Holland's firing out on Grier and GU, neither of which have done anything to deserve such treatment other than win - regularly. My frustration is that this writer, and apparently many in the USD community, harbor delusions of academic grandeur and more than that, are convinced that GU and its staff cut corners to get where they are even when the numbers don't support that theory. Maybe Grier can work some magic down there off the court, by helping the Torero faithful remove their blinders and showing them the path to success: recruiting, more recruiting, player development, coaching diligence, and facilities and fan support. I'm not claiming GU does all that better than its WCC brethren, but they do most of it better.

tyra
04-01-2007, 06:20 AM
I've worked in and around the press my entire career. Some of the press people I 've worked with are among the smartest and hardest working people you will ever meet. On the other hand, it is unbelievably rare for a reporter to ever print the words "I was wrong." They just don't do it! I think this guy deserves HUGE kudos. I think it is likely that his correction article will do more to clear up the circumstance here regarding GU's academic/athletic record than anything.

SteeleMan
04-01-2007, 08:05 AM
so, is anyone now going to e-mail him and thank him for his retraction/correction? might be another right thing to do.

applezag
04-01-2007, 08:07 AM
I've got to give this guy credit. I was one who emailed him. I hope that others who had emailed him last week, will send him a little "thank you" after this one. It is rare that a writer will do such a turnaround without major qualifications--he flat out admitted he was wrong.

gamagin
04-01-2007, 08:12 AM
he also stated clearly that it was the Holland firing, not the Grier hiring, that was the real target of his ire.

all is well. He has my respect.

now we can hate USD for being in an idyllic climate in a beautiful part of the world that is appreciating faster than we have been able to do. And for luring a really great assistant coach to its campus to try and beat us. To knock us off our hill.

BUT WE rule the basketball league we share and have no intention of giving up that crown. ZIP.

Bocco
04-01-2007, 08:36 AM
so, is anyone now going to e-mail him and thank him for his retraction/correction? might be another right thing to do.

Good point SteeleMan, as soon as I read the article I decide to write Scholfield and thank him for his follow up article. Its not too often that you see a writer do this, and he needs to be give due respect for having done so.

gamagin
04-01-2007, 08:54 AM
it's steve's job to get it right the first time.

brasszag
04-01-2007, 08:59 AM
Not really - it's his job to sell papers.

BobZag
04-01-2007, 09:12 AM
Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people, right on

Say you want a revolution
We better get on right away
Well you get on your feet
And out on the street

Singing power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people, right on

Singing power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people, right on

Singing power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people, right on
Now, now, now, now

Oh well, power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people, right on

Yeah, power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people, right on

Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people
Power to the people, right on

gamagin
04-01-2007, 10:51 AM
<< brasszag wrote: Not really - it's his job to sell papers. >>


then why should steve bother to apologize ? Why not feed the fires ?

He could have possibly sold more papers, as you suggest, by obfuscation, denial, posting all those "irate" GU messages, on and on.

Instead, he checked it out, as I and others suggested, and fixed it.

That speaks to his credibility, his desire to get it right, and his commitment to fix things he gets wrong.

As far as this scribe is concerned, I suggest this is evidence he considers factual reporting to be his job. That's the way I see it.

former1dog
04-01-2007, 01:00 PM
As one of the "irate Gonzaga letter writers", I do plan to write Mr. Scholfield to thank him for setting the record straight.

LongIslandZagFan
04-02-2007, 04:28 AM
As one of the "irate Gonzaga letter writers", I do plan to write Mr. Scholfield to thank him for setting the record straight.


Ditto.

brasszag
04-02-2007, 09:10 AM
I said nothing about him as a person - which the retraction and clarifiaction shows.

But his JOB - what they pay him money for - is to sell papers. Whether it be by factual reporting, or by ranting without any basis in reality. Especially in sports column writing, there's a lot of space for selling papers by irritating people - but not so much they stop buying.

LongIslandZagFan
04-02-2007, 10:28 AM
I said nothing about him as a person - which the retraction and clarifiaction shows.

But his JOB - what they pay him money for - is to sell papers. Whether it be by factual reporting, or by ranting without any basis in reality. Especially in sports column writing, there's a lot of space for selling papers by irritating people - but not so much they stop buying.

His response to my e-mail:


Thank you for writing.

My obligation has always been to my readers. They need to know that my opinions are based on fair and accurate information. That doesn't mean they have to agree with me. Many don't. But in this case, I failed in that responsibility to give them --- and myself ---- a more complete picture of what Gonzaga has done in recent years. Any individual who has the honor of being a professional journalist should never let their ego get in the way of doing what is right.

Kindest regards, Steve Scholfield



I think this paragraph says a ton about the man. He has my respect.