Recently, FITS News , ran by Will Folks, a blog and a man I actually have defended on this blog, posted allegations that South Carolina Gamecock baseball hero Scott Wingo had someone else take his SAT for him. Follow up posts were promised but as of this post, were not delivered.
Frankly, I do not worry about such being posted. Perhaps they will be. But, the great problem with blogging, face book, twitter, all of it is made clear by that point. Some guy tells some blogger some story that will make the blogger famous if it is true. So, the blogger runs with it. Fair enough.
When such happens in politics, it is par for the course, so to speak. Politics is nasty in South Carolina. We are known for it. But, when a kid, a civilian if you will, is maligned over an anonymous tip without digging deep, it shows the problem with the blog media. I am not going to accuse Folks of this, but too many bloggers are willing to post allegations they know are flimsy in the hopes that they prove true and get them on ESPN or Fox News or wherever to drive up their hits and satisfy their ad buyers.
The problem is with the people that are hurt by it. In Wingo’s case, it is extraordinarily difficult to have someone take the SAT in your place. Procedures are in place that are far more stringent than getting a SCDL or voting, even under the new voter identification law. The College Board’s currency is its credibility with the colleges and universities of the nation. To think they would allow a slip up for, at the time, a medium talent baseball recruit at South Carolina is just dim.
Further, Coach Ray Tanner has a reputation of impeccable adherence to rules and ethics. The kid in question has performed in the class room and on the field. To malign Tanner, the University of South Carolina, and some kid who plays ball, to have a shot a ESPN type fame is irresponsible.
But, such happens all the time now. People block ex wives or business partners from seeing their social network pages and blast them on them. Blogs like the Huffington Post fire off with little substance. The list of those types of blogs go and on. The truth gets lost in the din of noise of those who write the loudest.
And, who is hurt? Well, all us are to some degree. But, that kid is hurt especially bad. He has his whole professional life ahead. And, now, with one of the most prominent writers publishing allegations he cheated, that will go with him. Once the allegation is made, there are some people who believe it even if its proven wrong.
That’s fine for politics. But, in sports and other private endeavors, those of us who claim to inform, commentate or entertain have to have some sense of decency, especially when it comes to young people. Again, not making allegations, but if a blogger makes allegations based on anonymous and flimsy information just to take a shot at being famous, well, that blogger has got a hole in his soul.
I imagine the folks like that won’t like how I put things and gun for me. That only will make the hole for them bigger. And, it will make my point stronger,