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Stephen F. Austin Basketball

Reaction to Keller's 'millennials' comment a showcase in lazy journalism

March 16, 2018
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Stephen F. Austin battled Texas Tech in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament in a contest ESPN's BPI predictor gave the Lumberjacks just a 10% chance of victory in.

That was hardly how it played out, with SFA leading the Red Raiders from start to nearly finish, blowing a late lead before bowing out of the Big Dance with a final score of 70-60. 

Those familiar with Lumberjacks' head coach Kyle Keller weren't surprised by his candid demeanor after the game, talking about a number of topics that ranged from SFA's deficit in points scored in the paint to — yes — millennials.

It started with USA Today. Without context, the publication ran the headline: "Stephen F. Austin coach: Millennials 'don't even watch college basketball.'"

That's fine. There was nothing blatantly false in the article, even if a different meaning was certainly suggested. The problem in sports journalism is — and, full disclosure, I've been there too in past gigs working for mass content producers — nobody ever goes to the source.

In pure telephone game fashion, quotes from quotes from quotes, each time getting smaller, each time losing more context, spread throughout the internet like a California wildfire.

Suddenly, this morning, it was everywhere.

The Big Lead: Stephen F. Austin Coughs Up Late Lead, Coach Seems to Somehow Blame Millennials

SBNation: Stephen F. Austin’s coach somehow blames NCAA tournament loss on millennials (and quietly changed their headline without a correction after being called out)

CBS Sports: Stephen F. Austin's coach went on a wild rant about millennials and green beans

SEC Country: Stephen F. Austin coach Kyle Keller considers millennials threat to college basketball: ‘They don’t even watch’

Washington Post: Stephen F. Austin coach says his college basketball team has too many millennials

Even Golf Digest, and Total Frat Move got involved with headlines like "Coach goes peak "old man yelling at sky" by blaming March Madness loss on Millennials."

What's the problem? None of that is true.

Not only did Kyle Keller not blame the loss on "millennials," his comments were actually an obvious compliment to his players for not being intimidated by the long odds they faced as an upset-minded 14 seed.

Let's review. This was the question asked:

"Do you guys feel like you really were able — Texas Tech is a 3 seed. You were really able to play with them and maybe were a little under seeded?"

Kyle Keller replied, in true Keller fashion, with this:

"I don't know. There's 68 teams in the tournament seeding that to me doesn't have anything to do with it. I coached the No. 1 seed in the tournament. We didn't make the Final Four. So to me seeds don't matter.

When the game starts, the game starts. And that's what we try to convince our kids. Our kids didn't — they got to play against some dudes they knew. Ty [Charles] knew some guys on their team. And the millenials today, they don't even watch college basketball. A lot of our guys didn't even know who those cats were because they don't watch the game."

Internet journalism is full of pressure to inspire clicks. Without malicious intent, falsities are frequent, because (with some exceptions) the lines have been so heavily blurred in our industry between journalism and blogging.

Journalists do not publish second-hand quotes for this exact reason. Unless you can find the source and determine meaning from context, you are likely to inspire a mess like we're seeing today.

Bloggers don't care. Whatever is on the internet is fair game, context, meaning or not. As long as there's a catchy headline to attract clicks (and therefore advertising revenue) accuracy and fairness is hardly a priority.

Chalk this one up, once again, to the fine work of internet sports media. At least it's a fine example for journalism ethics professors, perhaps, at the universities where these writers probably never attended.

If you have to invent a narrative to make your story clickable, you should probably find a new line of work.

Reaction to Keller's 'millennials' comment a showcase in lazy journalism

No-look
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Lot of fake news out there.
Jacks4460
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I got enough fake news during the election..
Gazette1
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I like Coach Keller but that comment wasn't the smartest thing that he's ever said. He actually got a lot of the blame for the loss from the commentators. They criticized him for not putting the ball in Shannon's hands in the last five minutes of the game. I had to wonder if Bogues was still cramping up. I agree with them that Bogues is our best player.I am proud of our team but Tech was just a little bit better than we were. The off season will be interesting but I hope that we do not lose some our players to transfers. I believe that Bogues will watch it on replay and I hope that it doesn't effect his feeling toward the coach.
tsax2005
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So long as the power 5 ADs only read the headlines and think he's too hot to hire I'm fine with poor reporting.
SFA_03
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Brad got a lot of blame in the last 2 minutes of the Notre Dame loss for keeping the ball in Walkup's hands instead of trying to move the ball around.
nacluth
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Good call out Isaac. I will not be clicking on any of the links posted thoughtfully in the article lest they receive revenue from it.

I knew as I watched it last night that Keller (who is usually great in interviews) was at a real exhausted - mentally and physically - low point. It wasn't his best, but the follow up by the USA Today guy about millennials was a pure trash question after an extremely tough loss. If there's one part of Keller's answer that I think typifies his feelings was where he said "you give them a lot of love."

TallTexan
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Gazette1 said:

I like Coach Keller but that comment wasn't the smartest thing that he's ever said. He actually got a lot of the blame for the loss from the commentators. They criticized him for not putting the ball in Shannon's hands in the last five minutes of the game. I had to wonder if Bogues was still cramping up. I agree with them that Bogues is our best player.I am proud of our team but Tech was just a little bit better than we were. The off season will be interesting but I hope that we do not lose some our players to transfers. I believe that Bogues will watch it on replay and I hope that it doesn't effect his feeling toward the coach.
Bogues said in the post game that he just couldn't get back in the groove after his cramp. That, combined with two starters fouling out at the end cost us. But to assign too much blame to Keller would be an error, we took it to a 3 seed for 35 minutes. A coach doesn't go from brilliant to bonehead in just 5 minutes, you've got to look at all the circumstances.

edstile
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There are "journalism ethics professors"? Gee, who knew?

If so, they have certainly fallen down on their jobs in the last 40 years, based on the fake news spewers who have graduated from their schools of "journalism". Not all fake news emanates from outside of the journalism profession. In fact, I'm a believer that the majority of fake news does NOT come from outside of journalists' fiefdom. Or maybe their schools' ethics classes are merely electives and not required parts of their degree programs, allowing their biased students to skip such a controversial subject like that messy 'ethics' thing... Yeah, that's the ticket!
BigJack85
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I saw some of the articles and Isaac is dead on. It was lazy and out of context journalism. Just didn't hit the spot at all.
TallTexan
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Based on the news pieces I keep seeing be put out, we must have the greatest athletes & coach in human history. Apparently, our guys can walk in, dominate a 3 seed and nearly pull off a huge upset without even preparing at all.

I'm just amazed that we could play so well since our guys didn't even know we were playing Tech until tipoff.

Such lazy journalism.
MasterAxe
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Please be careful using the word "journalist," in the context of this story.

These are not "journalists," these are "click-seekers."

Notice, none of the relevant CBB writers are saying anything about it. They understand context and the quote.

The people pushing this are bloggers/failed writers/losers.

Having been in the journalism field myself...and still am (in a more limited role) please don't refer to these people as "journalists."

It discredits the truly good writers.
Gazette1
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I think that we played a very good basketball game but I'm confused by the statement that our players didn't know that we were playing Tech until the tipoff. We learned that we were playing Tech at the selection show which was the same time that Tech learned that they were playing us. I think that Keller gives a good interview but I don't see how that one statement had anything to do with the game. He seems to be dabbling in philosophy.
SDLJ
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I have contacted every publication via phone, email, twitter sometimes both to request a retraction. As some of you know, SI offered a correction. I have requested that they apologize to Coach Keller as well.

SDLJ
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UPDATE: SI has called it off.

https://www.si.com/college-basketball/2018/03/16/stephen-f-austin-coach-kyle-keller-millennials?utm_campaign=si-extramustard&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=social&xid=socialflow_twitter_si
SFA_03
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They changed Kyle's name to Kelly.
nacluth
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SFA_03 said:

They changed Kyle's name to Kelly.
I mean they got the correct letters. What more do you need?
SFA_03
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A win against Texas Tech.
SDLJ
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Ah, I get it. You guys are those guys. As opposed to saying hey dude, you missed something because you were not paying all the way attention or maybe you had something come up .

You guys are those high schools guys. Congrats.
Gazette1
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There's always next year or at least let's hope there will be with the crazy POTUS that we have.
nacluth
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I was going to write earlier today thanking you for taking the time to push back against the poor, undeserved press but was too busy during the day. Keller deserved better and it was nice of you to stand up for him.

Not cool though that it seems like you're calling out the fans that are upset too. (If I'm reading your comments correctly). SI capitulating was a pretty big deal. I know everyone is appreciative of your pushback.
No-look
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Gazette1 said:

There's always next year or at least let's hope there will be with the crazy POTUS that we have.
No worries. Next year will be fine. Just like the economy.
edstile
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nacluth said:

I was going to write earlier today thanking you for taking the time to push back against the poor, undeserved press but was too busy during the day. Keller deserved better and it was nice of you to stand up for him.

Not cool though that it seems like you're calling out the fans that are upset too. (If I'm reading your comments correctly). SI capitulating was a pretty big deal. I know everyone is appreciative of your pushback.
I'm thinking that SDLJ has simply been hitting the sauce pretty hard today.
Gazette1
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no look It's the world economy stupid. This is still Obama's economy. Obama save us from total economic collapse. He pulled us out of the Bush caused financial crash while the world economy was cratering. During Obama's tenure where he brought unemployment back from 10.7% unemployment to 4.9% unemployment we were out pacing the world economy. Now under Trump the world economy is beginning to outpace the U.S. economy. Having said that I was referring to the firing of former FBI director McCabe. The closer Mueller gets to Trump the more radical and chaotic Trump and his puppets have become. What we have is a constitutional crisis and a president that is compromised by Russia and a porn star that he had an affair with and received hush money from Trump's lawyer. This is worst than watergate. Take heed because it's time to look no look. Trump is who puts out the fake news. Four star General McCaffrey just said that Trump is a huge threat to our national security. He's compromised. I rest my political case unless you make another crazy comment. Trump is the biggest fake news creator by far.
No-look
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I can't be totally stupid. I did pick the Jacks to win the Southland tourney. Lol
CottonValleyJack
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Gazette1 said:

no look It's the world economy stupid. This is still Obama's economy. Obama save us from total economic collapse. He pulled us out of the Bush caused financial crash while the world economy was cratering. During Obama's tenure where he brought unemployment back from 10.7% unemployment to 4.9% unemployment we were out pacing the world economy. Now under Trump the world economy is beginning to outpace the U.S. economy. Having said that I was referring to the firing of former FBI director McCabe. The closer Mueller gets to Trump the more radical and chaotic Trump and his puppets have become. What we have is a constitutional crisis and a president that is compromised by Russia and a porn star that he had an affair with and received hush money from Trump's lawyer. This is worst than watergate. Take heed because it's time to look no look. Trump is who puts out the fake news. Four star General McCaffrey just said that Trump is a huge threat to our national security. He's compromised. I rest my political case unless you make another crazy comment. Trump is the biggest fake news creator by far.
Gazette1
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That maybe the only thing that we have in common no look. I am a realist rather than a politically influenced old man. Political labelling means nothing to me. In the universe that we are in Trump is totally crazy and dangerous to society. Mueller is closing in on him though and Trump knows it. If I am the old man, then how many of you are the cloud?
Lumberjack2009
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I have no problem with political disagreements, but I come to this thread to read up on SFA basketball. I'm sure there's some solid Political forums out there but please fellas let's not make this one of em'! Our common ground can be lumberjack basketball! On a side note how about UMBC?!
No-look
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Gazzette, we probably have other things in common. Political views seem to separate folks sometime. Sports is something that brings us together. When season starts I'll treat you at Canes. We better get back on topic before we get disciplined. Lol
Gazette1
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When something as nefarious as what Trump just did happens, it transcends even basketball. Take heed. We have a constitutional crisis that could even affect basketball. But regarding basketball, politics and money, Jay Bilas and crew discussed and were in favor of cutting back on the number of D1 teams. They want the tourney to be an invitational so all of those big time schools can get at large births. That is pretty scary to me. Money is corrupting the purity of the game and it's educational base. I just changed the subject.
Ballwatch
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Were there any fans to welcome home the team? Did not see any picture or videos like in years past
RedRiverLa
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ROCKIN' & RUCKIN' - AxeEm!
SFA ROTC Lumberjack Battalion
edstile
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Lumberjack2009 said:

I have no problem with political disagreements, but I come to this thread to read up on SFA basketball. I'm sure there's some solid Political forums out there but please fellas let's not make this one of em'! Our common ground can be lumberjack basketball! On a side note how about UMBC?!
Amen and amen and amen!!! NO MORE POLITICS AT THE SAWMILL, PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
RedRiverLa
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Lumberjack2009 said:

I have no problem with political disagreements, but I come to this thread to read up on SFA basketball. I'm sure there's some solid Political forums out there but please fellas let's not make this one of em'! Our common ground can be lumberjack basketball! On a side note how about UMBC?!


Nailed it! And about UMBC, I had Virginia winning it all. No wonder I was near the bottom in the Kinnard Guitars prediction contest. Let me serve as a warning to others on how not to pick games
ROCKIN' & RUCKIN' - AxeEm!
SFA ROTC Lumberjack Battalion
Gazette1
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College basketball involves a lot of politics. Lol!
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