In early September, 20 UMD football players made the news after they were issued citations for attending a party that had alcohol. All the local news channels gobbled up this story and ran with it. Head Coach Curt Wiese had a press conference, questions were answered and players were punished accordingly. No players were suspended indefinitely, but some did lose part of their scholarship.
Just a couple weeks back seven St. Scholastica female soccer players were suspended indefinitely for violation of team rules. They didn’t miss one game, they were off the team for ever. This story got about less than one minute of airtime. Where was the press conference?
First, one couldn’t argue in either of these cases on how good the teams are. The Saint soccer team is ranked #1 in their conference when they headed into their conference tournament, and everyone in this area knows the UMD football team is ranked top 5 in the nation. So, to say the success of the team plays a part in the media coverage I believe to be untrue.
Second, the big difference is football versus soccer. What does the public care more about? If the Saint players were given consumption tickets would there have been a big press conference? Would the news stations be pressing coach Reyelts? Probably not.
Last and what I would argue the most important factor in news coverage for these two stories is money. Does KBJR or WDIO want to use their resources to cover a popular sport like football or soccer? Do the news stations want to use their precious airtime for a big school like UMD or small UMAC power St. Scholastica?
In the end like most things I would argue money drives the sports coverage in this area.