Didn’t see Channel 8 News last night, but got an email from a high-school sport-watching FBvian who takes issue with Shipp’s story on how a South Oak Cliff player may or may not have been ineligible to play a tournament last year.
The SOC player in question might well have been ineligible but there are plenty of logical explanations to why he was not. And the report was full of holes.
- The grade card shown that had a 50 in the English III class showed the grade being for the first six weeks. That would have no impact on whether the kid would be eligibile for the basketball tournament in Feb.
- The UIL guy was talking about state policy being violated for the kid dropping the English III course because he had a D. What the UIL guy said was wrong. There is no statewide policy. Each school district sets its own drop policy.
- Shipp’s interview of the SOC coach in the gym was cut off but the coach when he asked Shipp if he had permission to be there. People — even crusading journalists — just can’t walk into schools when they please. They need to report to the office and obtain a visitor’s pass.
- The fact that the 50 was changed to a 73 _ again, in the first six-week grading period _ is not unusual. The student might have done extra credit work to raise his grade.
- Someone obviously gave Channel 8 the documents with the player’s grade info. Federal privacy laws are supposed to prevent grades from being released unless the student or his parents give permission. I guess if someone slipped Shipp an envelope with the information, then he’s one special investigative reporter.
I realize that it’s sweep’s month but that was a shabby example of gotcha journalism.