Editorial: Media needs to regain integrity

In their zealous agendas to attack and discredit Kentucky's John Calipari the incompetence of a few are doing a lot of harm to the members of the media who work hard to conduct research and insure accuracy.

In catching up on my UK news I checked out Jerry Tipton's UK basketball blog on the Memphis hearing. Tipton did a relatively good job with the blog work Saturday, considering there really wasn't much material to work with. Tipton is the UK correspondent for what was once a decent newspaper, but things must be pretty tight over there financially these days, as it appears there is no fact checking going on.

I say that, because this appears on Tipton's blog: (Geoff) Calkins and ESPN senior writer Pat Forde noted that Kentucky had fired two coaches — Eddie Sutton in basketball and Hal Mumme in football — despite those men not being named in major violations.

I did a double take. What?

Sutton and Mumme definitely resigned and weren't fired.

Jerry, how can you let the ignorance of Forde and Calkins stand unchallenged? Their ignorance is not an excuse for you not checking the facts and reporting the facts, and point out that their portrayals of recorded history are inaccurately represented in their comments. You've got one guy who is mad because Calipari left Memphis, and another who has a track record for a lack of integrity.

Eddie Sutton resigned in 1989, a known fact to me as I watched a portion of the announcement Sutton made that he was resigning on CBS during the March 1989 NCAA tourney. The AP article in the New York Times can be found online in seconds. The article's title states, Sutton Quits as Kentucky Coach.

The first paragraph states, "Eddie Sutton, whose Kentucky basketball program has been under investigation by the National Collegiate Athletic Association, announced his resignation today. He coached the Wildcats for four seasons."

Mumme's resignation is also easily located. The USA Today ran Steve Bailey's AP piece, which is preserved for posterity on the net. In big bold letters are the words Mumme resigns as Kentucky football coach, which serves as the article's title.

Bailey's first paragraph reads: Kentucky football coach Hal Mumme resigned Tuesday following months of investigation into possible NCAA violations. Mumme was replaced by Guy Morriss, an assistant coach at Kentucky with more than 15 years of NFL playing and coaching experience. Morriss was given a one-year contract, athletic director Larry Ivy said at a news conference."I met with coach Hal Mumme this afternoon and officially accepted his resignation as head football coach," Ivy said.

I recall a time when the organization for which Tipton works had more integrity. People went out to buy the paper to read D.G. Fitzmaurice and Chuck Culpepper. Using a couple of guys who have been on an anti-UK mission over the last three weeks as the sole resources is not up to the level of integrity that the media should be held to. By the nature of the business it is the job of the local media to report the news as accurately as possible.

It's well past time for the media to regain some integrity, and to stop trying to create the news or to be the local versions of the "National Enquirer" by printing rumor and innuendo.

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