Thesis proposal: Almost in the bag

It’s not bad enough that we have to write 20-40-page papers to wrap up each class in grad school, or that we have to write and defend a thesis to wrap up the whole Master’s degree thing, is it?

Oh no, we have to write a thesis proposal, too. It almost feels like some corporate hoop through which to jump.

Haha! Ahhhh, this blog post is really just a weak attempt at procrastination, a way to divert my steadfast attention from said thesis proposal.

Just a little of the pile on my desk.

The truth is, my thesis is going to be pretty cool — as far as theses go, of course. I am analyzing the coverage of college sports recruiting by Internet websites. A survey of 400 people in the college sports industry (journalism, media relations, etc.) reveal what they think are the most important ethical dilemmas in regards to this coverage.

Further, I offer a history of the coverage, the theoretical look into the ethical dilemmas and, finally, prescribe a set of ethical (and legal) guidelines for the coverage.

When I covered college football (and high school sports, to some extent, as well), I didn’t like covering recruiting for several reasons. The biggest of those reasons were 1.) nothing could be confirmed since the college coaches aren’t allowed to talk about recruits until Signing Day. So, an athlete could claim he was offered a scholarship, say he accepted one, and there was no other source with which to confirm it. 2.) Kids change their mind. An oral “commitment” is in no way a “commitment” to most recruits. In many cases, it is more like an oral pawn in a game that doesn’t end until the kid signs a letter of intent.

It always bothered me. But, there is a HUGE market for it. Yahoo! bought for $100 million. Big-time writers are joining these sites for a pretty penny. Subscribers come in hordes. More people log on to Rivals on Signing Day than on to CNN on Election Day. That’s incredible!

So, I best get after it, this proposal here. It’s almost finished and I’m dragging my feet on some of the theoretical analysis. Yawn. It sounds so much more fun on my blog, doesn’t it?

Any comments to kick my butt into gear or otherwise motivate me are appreciated.

Stay tuned…


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