OK, folks, now that it seems like things have died down a little bit after a hectic week of SEC Media Days and the news swirling around LSU's Russell Shepard, I wanted to take a minute and clear the air a bit about how we did things last week and how we will continue to do them as we move forward with TigerSportsDigest.com.
Some of you were a little caught off guard with us running the Russell Shepard story the way we did – where it was placed, etc. I have gotten a lot of feedback – most of it by far very positive and supportive. I thank you for that, but I also welcome and appreciate the less-than-positive feedback I received.
Let me say this right off the bat: I stand behind what we wrote 100 per cent and I stand behind where we ran it and how we played it 100 per cent.
The day I started working for FoxSports.com/Scout.com and took over as the Managing Editor of TigerSportsDigest.com, this site began an evolution.
Over the last six weeks, this site has evolved into one that is and will continue to be an LSU sports site. That means we will strive to provide all angles of coverage – news, game coverage, feature stories, columns and, yes, still the best recruiting coverage available in this market.
That's the direction all FoxSports.com/Scout.com sites are going and we will proudly carry that banner with our LSU coverage.
No, I did not go to LSU, so I have no emotional ties to the school, nor am I a fan. So the notion of "what is best for LSU sports" isn't even a factor in the equation for me.
That said, I thoroughly enjoy covering the Tigers. I have good working relationships with the coaches and athletes I cover and will report the hell out of every bit of positive news that deserves to be reported. However, the same applies when there's bad news. That's my job and this site's responsibility from now on.
Along those lines, you might notice what some of you might choose to perceive as less positive coverage from time to time. I won't apologize for that, period. We're here to report what happens and try to explain and analyze the ‘why' and ‘what next.'
We'll be aggressive and thorough in our coverage of news, game coverage and recruiting. There won't be any cheerleading, nor will there be any agendas to intentionally hurt the Tigers in any way. We will aim down the center and work like hell to be the best LSU sports site around.
There is no such thing being "kept internal" any more. Like it or dislike it, we will report the news first whenever we can, just like we endeavor to get recruiting information out to you before anybody else. When we do break news, it will be only when we are confident that what we're reporting is fair and accurate. If we don't have it first, we'll work just as hard as we can to get it out as soon as we can – and correctly.
This site is, without a doubt, for LSU fans, but that doesn't mean you can dictate how we run the site. We have a responsibility to report news and generate interest with opinion and analysis, and – I'm beating a dead horse here – we will bust our backsides to give you the absolute best LSU coverage we can.
I can confidently say that we're stronger than any of the other sites covering LSU with the addition of myself, LSU Field Reporter Emily Villere and Recruiting Analyst Steve Robertson to the already stout product that Sonny Shipp built from the ground up and Shea Dixon took over and nurtured through a tricky transitional period over the last year. Bottom line: We're not in competition to finish in second place.
We are headed in our own, new and exciting direction – evolving into a site that will provide in-depth and comprehensive coverage of an entire athletic program instead of only recruiting.
Things can stay the same and get stagnant or things can change and take steps toward the future. We're choosing the future and progress and hope you come along for the ride.
One final request, or perhaps expectation is a better word.
On the message boards, keep it classy and mature. No more personal attacks or taking shots at other posters and their opinions. That applies in particular to the hard-working people who run this site.
If you have a problem with anybody, including me or anybody else who helps make this site so damn strong, then send a personal message and work things out person-to-person and privately. As a few you have learned, I'm not exactly a wallflower when it comes to this issue.
If you aren't sure how to PM on the site, shoot me an e-mail (email@example.com) and I'll give you the quick and easy directions.
We want you to join us on our new journey and enjoy the ride. Buckle up, though, because we might take some twists and turns you're not used to or expecting. But it's going to be a lot of fun, too, so come along.
TSD's Randy Rosetta and Emily Villere discuss the Tigers' receiving core led by wide receivers…