Big Fowler Article in the Sunday Observers; headline contradicts information in article

Both the Charlotte Observer and Raleigh’s News & Observer ran a large featured article this morning titled – Fowler’s exit from NC State linked to emails.

There is SO MUCH here that I don’t have time to start before heading to church! But, we just had to link it and get the conversation started. (Actually…true to to form…our message boards serve to be a great place for ‘real time’ discussion as the topic of this blog entry has already been launched on the boards in this thread).

Where to begin? How about the friggin headline – it is awful. Absolutely awful. Fowler’s exit from NC State linked to emails?! Really? Is there anyone in the world outside of a half-witted headline writer barely keeping their job at a failing newspaper company that thinks that Lee Fowler’s firing was ‘linked’ to emails?

Lee Fowler was ultimately ousted for awful job performance. Not because people emailed. People emailed because of the awful performance. I would call this “Level One” thinking if it ascended to the most basic of correlations. But, it is more like “half a level” of thinking.

For further evidence of the depth of inaccuracy this headline represents, consider the fact that part of the premise of the article was to show how Lee Fowler was ousted before Randy Woodson’s tenure began. Then the article pulls a bunch of emails that were written after Woodson’s start date? How in God’s name could emails that were sent AFTER the decision to fire Fowler be linked to the firing of Fowler? Only in the world of ‘mainstream media’.

As one of our community members stated, “If the fans had the power to fire Fowler, he would have been gone long ago, and he would not have been given a contract extension that we are now paying off until 2013.”

There is a treasure trove of items to attack and discuss in this piece, and these comments are off to a fantastic start. We’d love to hear some of your thoughts.

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18 Responses to Big Fowler Article in the Sunday Observers; headline contradicts information in article

  1. WilmingtonWolf05 06/06/2010 at 11:18 AM #

    N&O = Hatchet Jobs 101

    I love how they posted names attached to emails…including one person I know who will not be pleased.

  2. Avid109 06/06/2010 at 1:16 PM #

    That article was obviously written to get people riled up. The emails were not the reason Fowler was forced out; he was forced out because of his poor job performance. Had our sports teams been doing better, the emails would have never been written in the first place.

    I am glad to see that Chancellor Woodson seems to have a good understanding of the circumstances.

  3. Scooter 06/06/2010 at 1:20 PM #

    The N&O and WRAL are reliable information sources about as much as the former Iraqi Minister of Information.

  4. packof81 06/06/2010 at 2:28 PM #

    This is so typical for the N&O. Nothing they print can be taken at face value. All their news stories must be carefully parsed.

  5. 61Packer 06/06/2010 at 2:37 PM #

    Even a moron could figure out that it was incompetence, not e-mails, that led to the dismissal of Wolfpack AD Lee Fouler. This article is just the latest attempt by a biased, liberal-minded newspaper to protect the integrity of yet another public education bureaucrat. The accompanying article in today’s sports section, “Fowler respected by colleagues”, conveniently omitted the fact that under Fouler’s tenure, there was a significant lack of performance on the field AND in the classroom.

    Ken Tysiac should be covering Charlotte sports and NASCAR, areas he understands better than Wolfpack sports and especially Wolfpack fans. Before much longer, the McClatchy Group will absolutely ruin every newspaper in this region, and may well put them out of business in the process.

  6. turfpack 06/06/2010 at 4:20 PM #

    The first thing I said was-Idiots the N&O has no clue-Lee got himself in this mess and I don’t feel sorry for him 280,0000 reasons why – IT’S ALL Bull$%#T.My neighbor said he uses the N&O if he need to cleanup dog crap in his yard-my feeling exactly!!!!! the N&O ISN’T A FAILING NEWSPAPER IT FAILED ALONG TIME ALONG-DURING THE V YEARS! I mention this rag to Chancellor Woodson a couple weeks ago -he had a wait and see attitude-if he waits long enough- he will see the kind of bulls$%# they write about NCSTATE.

  7. wufpup76 06/06/2010 at 7:19 PM #

    So Gregggggg Doyel works for the Observers now?

    This is trolling at it’s finest.

    Everyone knows what to do with trolls, don’t they?

  8. Alpha Wolf 06/07/2010 at 8:31 AM #

    Two things stand out to me:

    1) The local media – N&O and guys on 99.9 are setting the stage for a myth of “unreasonable fans fired Fowler.” Kind of like we fired Herb and also had a parade for finishing fourth in the ACC, etc. They love this stuff and since sports “journalists” are some of the least analytical folks out there, it will reverberate in their echo chamber until it is “fact.” Writers and commenters from other areas will pick up on this and repeat it endlessly, count on it.

    2) I wonder what “impossible conditions” White is talking about. Give me a break. NC State is one of the larger ACC schools in terms of student population, and it is the largest school in the 10th largest state in the country. Moreover it has generous and loyal fans — fans who sell out their football stadium year after year despite marginal results, for example. Fans who vigorously donate to the booster club despite poor results — for DECADES, mind you — in the sports that matter.

    Those ingredients do not make for “impossible conditions.” In fact, they are rather fertile conditions for sustainable success.

    On second thought, what White said is patronizing and wholly arrogant. It’s just another flavor of “little NC State cannot compete with Duke and UNC.” Horse puckey, Mr. White.

    Overall, I am neither surprised nor distressed by what Tysiac and his editors at the N&O/CO concocted. Why am I not surprised? Why should I be? It’s like being surprised when a bad dog shits on the floor. You know what angle the N&O and the CO are going to take, because they’ve taken the same angle for 40 years or more: they are going to pander to the UNC fans and they are going to try the tried and true “tweak the NCSU fans so they’ll read our stuff.”

    Keep in mind that for folks like the newspapers and sports radio stations like 99.9 FM, NC State’s fans are not their audience, they are their INVENTORY, and that their TRUE customers are their advertisers.

    They will do all they can to deliver that inventory to their customers, and stuff like this is exactly how they do it. It’s worked for years and seemingly always will, so don’t expect it to change.

    As the old line from Wargames applies to fans and the media: the only way to win is not to play.

    Remember THAT when you crack open the local paper or flick on local sports yack stations.

  9. harrisek 06/07/2010 at 9:19 AM #

    The article is comical in that it reads like it was written by someone who has just discovered this new thing called “e-mail”. He used some form of the word “e-mail” in almost every paragraph.

  10. triadwolf 06/07/2010 at 9:53 AM #

    29 people?

    Emails from 29 people got the AD from a major D1 school fired? Wow! I might have to look into this email thing; looks you can get a lot accomplished. This may change my life!

    A couple hundred emails should be enough to get all of Congress to resign. One or two should get all my kids into college. Just imagine what we can do with this technology!

    29 – give me break!

  11. SaccoV 06/07/2010 at 10:28 AM #

    The writer of this “article” should have an immediate job relocation as a headline writer. This headline was perfect because, knowing what little I know, I was interested to find out if something “behind-the-scenes” was in fact being covered up (as if Fowler really did have something incriminating by which to keep his job for this many years after it was obvious during the Amato garbage that all other ADs would have been shown the door). So kudos to the headline. With equal dismay and disappointment, the writer of the article was by-God terrible. And most of you are quite right in indicating the N&O’s general stance on writing about NC State over the years. Here it is:
    1) Create a good headline that gets a reader’s interest and thus sells another paper or two.
    2) Worry about the journalistic merits of the story long after the current editor-in-chief has been relocated to another paper.
    3) As long as NC State FANS get branded as unruly, unrealistic, angry, delusional, our job is complete.
    4) Repeat the following sentence “State fans fired Herb Sendek” in EVERY STORY about the school, its sports teams, and its fans.

    Utterly laughable, but then again, even when I lived in Raleigh (1995-2000), I never ONCE purchased a copy of the N&O.

  12. bradleyb123 06/07/2010 at 10:34 AM #

    We DO make something impossible for NC State employees — we make it impossible for them to do a bad job and get away with it. We hold them accountable.

    If the SCHOOL was doing it’s job, making life miserable for those that don’t perform, we wouldn’t have to do their job for them.

  13. PoppaJohn 06/07/2010 at 11:31 AM #

    The barn door is open. Not only is the horse gone, but he’s dead. Let Fowler go.
    Unless you are new to the area, you should know that the surprise is when the N&O prints an accurate, well written article in the sports section. It may well be because I know more about State than the other local schools, but it seems they frequently ‘get it wrong’ when they editorialize about us, but I wouldn’t doubt the same is true for the other local schools.

    No news here.

  14. choppack1 06/07/2010 at 11:52 AM #

    I read this and all I can say is that I find it almost malicious that the N&O printed the names unless they ran it by the submitters of the e-mails.

    But hey – at least in the last paragraph they mentioned that he didn’t win enough.

    What I do find telling is that the first thing they bring up are his accomplishments – the shortcomings that were the results of the athletic department he was supposed to be heading are mentioned, but briefly and after the “the good results” of the Fowler tenure.

    It’s also very telling that they don’t mention the disorganized basketball search, the ESPN call-in where he said, “Chuck is NOT on the hot seat” – only to fire him later in the year.

    Normally, you’d have to be shocked, but this is exactly what I’d expect from this entity.

  15. WolftownVA81 06/07/2010 at 12:20 PM #

    ^ No mention of Cougers either – that’s a Fowler classic.

  16. WolftownVA81 06/07/2010 at 12:21 PM #

    ^Add the interwebs and the lunatic fringe to that list as well.

  17. choppack1 06/07/2010 at 1:26 PM #

    I’ll give them a pass on the Cougars thing. That was on local radio and we’ll dismiss that as “Lee just being Lee”.

  18. McCallum 06/07/2010 at 5:57 PM #

    Lee who?


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