"Where There is Smoke, There is Fire"

  1. #1

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    "Where There is Smoke, There is Fire"

    I would love to hear your opinion on the theory, “Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire”, when it comes to what is written on social media, message boards, blogs, etc.

    The reason I bring up this point: As a long time high school football coach, I’ve experienced “the good, the bad, and the ugly” when it comes to social media. It sure is nice when you receive praise on a blog, or a message board for a job well done. We all want to be affirmed and love the attention when we are appreciated. That’s just human nature. However, if you are coach who has been praised on social media, it is safe to say that you are also a coach who has been criticized and chastised for a bad loss on a Friday night. I have learned to handle the public criticism. My skin has definitely thickened over the years. Whether I agree or disagree, I can accept the constructive criticism and the opinions. It’s humbling and often hard to read sometimes, but I believe that part of it comes with the job. Where I have had a really hard time, is when people post something that is blatantly, not true. Maybe its rumor, maybe it’s just fabricated, or maybe the person just wants to make a personal attack.

    For example, this past week, someone posted that he/she was surprised that I was still coaching high school football because I’ve been fired by so many schools. So, against my better judgement, I responded, professionally I think, that this statement was just not true. I also asked the person to justify what they posted regarding specifics of what schools had, supposedly, fired me. His response was that he/she really didn’t know for sure, but “where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” So, my question to all of you is, If you read something in social media, do you consider it to be true? Or is it just reading for entertainment value? Or do you read it and believe there is probably some degree of truth to it, because of the theory, “where there’s smoke there’s fire?”

    Let me give you another example.....While I was a Head Football Coach in Cincinnati, It was written on a message board that I was fired from my teaching/coaching job because I was leaving school during the day to go gambling at Belterra Casino. What? I guess I’m just not sure where the line is anymore. How that story got started is really kind of funny. Since we had such great players and coaches, I was invited to speak at a Nike Clinic at Belterra Casino. Therefore, I was, indeed, at Belterra on a Friday to be a clinic speaker. So, from that, someone wrote that I was “let go” because I had a gambling problem and was leaving my job during the school day to go to the Casino. Did that rumor have an impact on my reputation and keep me from being hired for other teaching/coaching jobs? I don’t know. Probably. In education, your reputation means everything. So, is it really okay to repeat something, or write something that you’re not 100% sure is true?

    Do you all believe that people posting on message boards or blogs have a responsibility to be honest and report accurate information? Where do personal ethics and honesty fit in when it comes to social media?

    Thanks in advance for your feedback.
    Kevin Siple
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  2. #2

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    Most of social media is an echo chamber. People agree with/follow people who share their outlook on things. On BGP there are posters who can't bring themselves to say nice things about a rival school. Of course the reverse is true as well, those same posters won't/can't criticize their own school no matter the circumstance.

    I think people try to post accurate information, but their posts are colored by their own preconceptions and biases.

    I also think a certain percentage of the population is completely off their rockers and believe any and all conspiracy theories, but there is probably nothing you can do about that other than ignore them.

  3. #3
    bugatti's Avatar
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    Please make sure this thread stays within the rules... Particularly Rule 12:

    12. No complaining about the web site, its members, or its management on the forums or in public. If you have a complaint (or if you have any constructive criticism) you need to send an email to theguru@fuse.net and I will get back with you as soon as possible to address the issue. When a moderator warns of possible rule violation or makes a request in a thread, do not ignore the warning/request and do not argue. Ignoring a violation warning, ignoring a moderator request or arguing with a moderator over their enforcement of forum rules may result in your suspension.

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    For CF, I only post facts and I fall in the group that will criticize my alma mater and can be found complimenting the enemy that I have respect for without hesitation

    To Siple’s question, you find out in a hurry who your real friends are and at the end of the day you really only have a handful of people you can trust, usually just your family

    It is difficult when people spread rumors or false information that can tarnish your professional career but if played correctly one can overcome these obstacles. Sometimes it takes picking up, moving and setting up shop in another state like Florida, TX or Vermont to name a few

    Goford, you are an above average coach with the ability to lead. You have many many options

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    Jumper_Dad's Avatar
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    As far as the original question goes about "Where there is smoke there is fire"...I think it is unfortunate that so many people prescribe this way of thinging. In many cases (not just coaching) you see someone constanly being barraged with claims against them, so much so that those that don't really know what's going on only remember the salacious rumors and take them as fact.
    It must be true if we keep hearing it...right?
    It must be true if it's on Facebook...right?

  6. #6
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    In the movie Batman: The Dark Knight, Michael Kane tells Christian Bale " Some men aren't looking for anything logical, like money. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn."

    Not a direct correlation but some people are uncomfortable with things being normal and will do what they can to employ a little chaos.

    I will also say that this website is pretty good source when it comes to job vacancies, possible candidates, and other administrative things. When it comes to those topics, the fire usually produces smoke.

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    There is a quote I like to refer to when dealing with issues like this..."Where the good are silent, evil prevails."
    There is a lot of truth about this statement as well.

  8. #8
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    @goford, you wrote:

    So, is it really okay to repeat something, or write something that you’re not 100% sure is true?
    Do you all believe that people posting on message boards or blogs have a responsibility to be honest and report accurate information? Where do personal ethics and honesty fit in when it comes to social media? Thanks in advance for your feedback.


    The scenarios you wrote about were examples of unethical social media communication.

    I guess I can give a pass to someone who is asking about a rumor they heard in order to learn the truth. But repeating stuff you don't know to be true as if it were true is unethical. If the social media platform allows anonymity the likelihood it happens goes way up because there isn't any real accountability. I think a good thing to ask ourselves before posting something like you describe is whether we would say it if our name was attached to it.

    I probably have posted inappropriate things here before, though I am unaware, and I try not to do it and have taken others to task for it. This thread is a good reminder to us about appropriate communication regarding things we are curious about.

  9. #9
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    Thank you for your post coach. There are some of us on here that join the forum to participate in discussion about the sport we love and we hear comments about ourselves that do not always feel good. The thick skin is necessary in our profession even though I wish it wasn't so. Rumors, misconceptions and hearsay can ruin anybody and social media is a great platform for this type stuff despite its great qualities.

    I think sites like this one serve a unique purpose and I'm glad to be a part of this community specifically, even though sometimes it hurts to read the comments. Some people just don't prescribe to what my Grandma told me, "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it at all."

    Thanks Coach and thanks BGP

  10. #10
    TheDeuce's Avatar
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    All depends on the source for me. I have several connections in several areas of our region that I would trust without batting an eye. Then again, I would never post anything they told me in confidence that I would keep private.

    In short, yes, sometimes I believe in the idea of "where there's smoke, there's fire."

  11. #11
    Voice of Reason's Avatar
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    Gossip, rumors, inside info, first hand information... some people don't know where to draw the lines. My basic rule of thumb is if I would not say it face to face to a person then I will not say it at all - neither in conversations with others nor in posts in social media somewhere.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Voice of Reason View Post
    Gossip, rumors, inside info, first hand information... some people don't know where to draw the lines. My basic rule of thumb is if I would not say it face to face to a person then I will not say it at all - neither in conversations with others nor in posts in social media somewhere.
    That is a good rule of thumb VoR.

    And for the record everyone, I will say way more to you in person than I will say on BGP.

  13. #13
    TheDeuce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Voice of Reason View Post
    Gossip, rumors, inside info, first hand information... some people don't know where to draw the lines. My basic rule of thumb is if I would not say it face to face to a person then I will not say it at all - neither in conversations with others nor in posts in social media somewhere.
    I try to follow this rule too. Problem is, I'll say it to their face as well.

  14. #14
    Voice of Reason's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDeuce View Post
    I try to follow this rule too. Problem is, I'll say it to their face as well.
    Ditto

  15. #15

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    Above average? Lol. C’mon sweep.

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