All the hubbub over the Freep's big Michigan story has inspired me to make my glorious (although likely short-lived) return to the blogosphere. I don't want to rehash many of the issues that have been discussed in detail (although I imagine I'm in the minority of Michigan fans on this one), but I did want to point something out I haven't seen anywhere else.
There has been a lot of discussion about how the Free Press failed to get both sides of the story. I'm not sure this is true.
The Freep DID seek out both sides of the story. Unfortunately, in typical fashion for a large entity (whether it be a school, company, etc.), the athletic department chose to give out a boiler plate response from all the parties involved. If it's true that the University isn't breaking any rules, shouldn't the PR department get some of the blame for not explaining to the journalists why Michigan's program falls within the established bounds? It's kind of tough to give both sides of the story equal treatment when one side refuses to talk you. Should the Free Press be required to make Michigan's argument for them if Michigan won't make that argument itself?
Somebody really need to explain to me what PR departments do. It seems like Michigan is working from the same playbook as the investment banks. Isn't their goal to head off stories like this one?