ATTN. READERS: Everybody needs a reset …

Happy Anniversary, fellow SGV sports fans.

It’s been a year since this site was launched as a compliment to the Tribune’s prep sports coverage. It was a long time coming, believe me. For the most part, everything has been great. This blog has attracted a lot of hits, which in-turn has brought this area’s prep sports even more notOriety. For this, I say thank you. Also, for those of you who’ve taken the time to share your thoughts and thus produce more comments than anyone could’ve imagined, I say thank you, too. For the most part, the dialogue has been entertaining, informative and interesting.

But, and there’s always a but, this site has developed some problems. The other day I had to speak with our executive editor, Steve O’Sullivan, about something questionable posted on the blog. I’ve had to speak with managing editor Steve Hunt a few more times than that. And sports editor Doug Spoon even more times than I can imagine. Believe me, I like speaking to these guys, but they’re upper management and they make me nervous. The best conversations with upper management are the ones you initiate, not the ones they initiate … “Hey Aram, got a second?” is something I don’t like to hear. Not to mention, there have been times when several people in the office came up to me surprised by profanities used on the site.

Fortunately, upper management has been cool enough to not force me to take anything down and they allow me to run this site how I see fit. I don’t believe in censorship. And I don’t like sugar-coated sports coverage, whether it’s preps, college or pro. But when parents are coming on here and defending their kids, we’re getting far away from what this site was intended for. Which is why the decision to produce new rules comes directly from me. When this site started, we had only a few parameters – no kid bashing, personal attacks, foul language or so on. I was also releasing all comments back then. Due to the high volume of comments, there’s just no way to catch and release comments as they come in. I’m not about to start doing this, but I will be hitting the delete button more often. Threads that turn bad, will be gone quickly. Here are some new guidelines …

1. Kid bashing – “Better luck next time” or “Keep your head up” will be the extent of negative comments toward local athletes. You bring up residency or playing time, the post will be deleted as soon as I see it. If you want to complain about playing time, call the coach. If you want to complain about residency, call the school or CIF. High school sports are some of the best times these kids will have, so a bunch of whining adults aren’t going to spoil it on this blog.

2. Coaches – If any thread is somehow diverted from its original topic to question coaching policy or discuss the off-the-field lives of any coaches, that thread will be deleted. If you want to question what decisions a coach makes between the lines, then be my guest. If you don’t like play-calling or Xs and Os management, then comment away. Personal attacks that get way off topic will be deleted. This also goes for school administrators.

3. Profanity – I’ve gotten way too relaxed on this, but it’s got to tighten up. Obviously, some things will slip through the cracks. But what I’m really trying to prevent is name calling.

By following these three guidelines, I think we can limit some of the problems this site has had recently. I’m confident all of you can still make your points without cussing, bashing kids or attacking their coach’s personal life.

If any of these changes sour you, then please move on. I’d rather this site have no hits and no comments than have it degenerate into some anonymous free-for-all that gives this area a bad name, makes high school kids feel bad, ticks off Tribune upper management, embarrasses coaches and causes parents not to enjoy the athletic careers of their pride and joy offspring.

To any athlete, coach or parent whose been offended by something said on this site, I sincerely apologize. I regret that some of these actions may not have come soon enough to spare people their grief. Undoubtedly, there will be similar problems in the future, but hopefully this reset will help calm everything down and re-direct which way this blog is headed.

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