The Juniata College Sports Information Office serves as a communications link between Juniata’s varsity athletic teams, student-athletes, coaches, administration and the media and general public. Juniata Sports Information tries to promote timely and accurate coverage of Juniata athletics by coordinating interviews, servicing the information needs of the public and the media, and maintaining statistics, photographs, and historical records.
A. Coaches’ Responsibilities
- Please call your sports information contact (or another prearranged individual within the Sports Info Office) with the final score or results of you contest/event, along with information about key performers and key statistics. Please make this call immediate upon the conclusion of the event.
- Contact the Sports Info Office immediately if there are any roster changes (additions, deletions, number changes) or any changes to your schedule.
- Have all new student-athletes to your program complete a Student-Athlete Information Form, and have returning student-athletes to your program complete a Basic Information Form with FERPA waiver.
- Alert the SID to any developing newsworthy event in their programs (good and bad).
- Be available 24/7 for interviews and questions regarding their programs.
- Encourage student-athletes to respond in a timely manner to information or interview requests from the SID.
B. Interview Policies – Student-Athletes
- All interview requests with student-athletes must be directed to the Sports Information Director, who will make the interview arrangements around the student-athlete’s academic and athletic obligations.
- If contacted directly by a member of the media without prior notification by the Sports Information Director, student-athletes should politely decline to be interviewed and ask the reporter to please make arrangements through Juniata Sports Information.
- Both these policies apply to members of the campus media, such as The Juniatian newspaper or WKVR radio.
C. Interview Policies – Coaches & Administrators
- Coaches may speak to members of the media without making prior arrangements through the Sports Information Office, as long as the interview pertains to that coaches’ team and its on-the-field performance. Coaches are encouraged to check with the Sports Information Director on appropriate strategies in responding to questions about sensitive topics.
- Coaches may NOT speak to the media about departmental-wide or campus-wide issues without prior clearance by the Sports Information Director or the Director of Public Relations. This is to ensure that there is only one spokesperson for the college and the athletics department when articulated college or departmental policy.
D. Dealing with the media
Below are some tips for preparing for an interview:
- Ask the purpose of the interview before granting it.
- Show up on time. Dress appropriately and professionally.
- Remember your audience – the reporter’s audience, and not the reporter him or herself.
- Deliver a positive message, regardless of circumstances. If you win, do not be “cocky” or arrogant. If you lose, do not criticize others, especially teammates or coaches.
- Avoid “yes” and “no” answers.
- Think before you speak; take time to consider what you wish to say. Remember: you cannot control questions, but you can control answers. Learn to form a bridge from a negative question to a positive answer.
- Anticipate tough questions, and prepare answers beforehand.
- Do not speak negatively of others - do not air your team’s “dirty laundry” or provide bulletin board material to opponents.
- Be colorful. Be likeable. Show personality.
- Be honest.
- If asked a question of a sensitve nature, you do NOT have to answer it. It is okay to say “I’d prefer not to discuss that subject.” Never say “no comment” – that implies guilt and suspicion.
- Never make “off the record” comments. There is no such thing.
- If, after the interview is completely, you feel uncomfortable about the questions you were asked or some of the answers you provided, please notify the Sports Information Director immediately.
- Remember you represent your team, this athletic department, and Juniata College.
- Coaches and athletes should ask parents to clip out any articles about them or Juniata in their local paper and make a copy for the SID.
- Coaches and athletes should stay informed about issues concerning their sport, the NCAA, the athletic department and other campus activities. If there are rules changes or other significant changes in the NCAA’s management of your sport, please make sure to bring those to the attention of the Sports Information Director.