Ethics and the Coverage of Recruiting

The title of my as-of-now successfully defended thesis is “Identifying Ethical and Legal Challenges and Solutions in the Online Coverage of Recruiting High School Athletes.”

And I am FIRED UP!

I didn’t sleep much last night and was pretty much wide awake from 4:45 a.m. on. But I got out of bed a little before 6 and went upstairs to make breakfast. I was told that feeding the committee members is always encouraged, so I made breakfast for them: A Denver eggbake (with tofu instead of ham since Dr. Mike Sweeney is a newly-minted vegetarian), an Italian eggbake with sausage and tomato sauce, and blueberry muffins — out of the bag, of course!  

So, all that was going while I also showered, started a load of laundry, ironed a shirt, did my hair and … whew… I was only a little anxious!

Once the committee came in, it took a little over an hour. It was ridiculously painless.

I knew Dr. Sweeney was going to be fine. He’s my chair and we worked chapter-by-chapter on this thing. Dr. Aimee Edmondson is the law expert. I have a great relationship with her, and we had already discussed the gist of things, so I wasn’t worried about her.

I was, however, a bit concerned about Dr. Pat Washburn.

Let me go back a little ways… Dr. Washburn is my mentor‘s mentor. So, I hold him in high esteem. He’s a bit older, close to retirement and absolutely says what is on his mind right when the thought hits. He isn’t much on tact, and maybe even a little less on manners. But he’s brilliant and he cracks me up.

But I was a little worried. And, the way he started made me start to sweat on my upper lip.

He opened his copy of the paper up and went, “Now, on Page 2…”

But, Dr. Washburn literally went through and picked every style error and typo out — and there really weren’t many. He had a couple great questions. Like, he asked me to explain a little more about why a booster could get a team an NCAA investigation, but a reporter couldn’t. His inquiries were helpful and — let me be honest — they also didn’t add more than 30 minutes of work.

They sent me out of the room after we went through everyone’s questions and, after about 150 seconds, they brought me back in. THESIS ACCEPTED.

Washburn leaned back in his chair and said, “You’ve really done a nice job here.”

I wanted to explode.

So, I now have a few style items to edit and a couple questions to answer. After I do that, I send the thesis to Thesis & Dissertation Services, while Sweeney sends it to the Dean of the School of Communications. Everyone nods their head and they get my Master’s diploma printed!

After I sent it to TAD, I go get it bound and deliver a copy to Sweeney, who puts it in the library.

When I do that, I will also send my final version to all the people who answered my survey. 

I am posting the pre-edited/not-yet-official version here, as well. So, if you have insomnia, you can be cured. 😉 Honestly, if you’re a college football fan, you might get something out of it. I don’t think it’s a bad read considering it’s a thesis.


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