Smears Against Steubenville Coach Saccoccia Continue

The guilty verdicts are in. Trent Mays and Ma’lik Richmond are convicted rapists.

You’d think the media might notice that and factor that fact into their Alexandria Goddard-inspired narrative of ‘football culture.’

You’d think they would see that there was no cover-up. Mays and Ma’lik were arrested within days of the incident. The coaches, including Reno Soccoccia, assisted in gathering the evidence that helped convict.

Here’s the thing about most of the people writing about Steubenville: it’s more important for them personally to make their point than to try and get the facts right. They feel good about themselves and they feel superior yapping about ‘football culture’ and so they don’t care what the actual facts are. This seems especially true about sportswriters, by the way, who must habor some secret guilt that I was ony dimly aware of previously.

Forbes has a new piece by Bob Cook that swirls all the ‘culture’ narratives together and keeps them going.

What became abundantly clear in the run-up to the Steubenville trial, and during the trial itself, is that Big Red high school football had grown to such a stature that jock culture had become rape culture. One person whose reputation took a major hit was Steubenville is football coach Reno Saccoccia, whom, as testimony during the trial showed, Mays figured would take care of any fallout from the Aug. 11, 2012, incident and the photos that surfaced from it. (Saccoccia has not commented on the testimony to that effect, which wasbased on text messages Mays sent.) And if he didn’t try to do that, Saccoccia didn’t exactly cover himself in glory as the story unfolded — and, to be fair, neither did his bosses at the school, or anyone in town who didn’t want the two-time state champion coach and his program to come under attack. As a Dec. 16, 2012, New York Times story detailed, Saccoccia didn’t suspend the players who posted online photographs and comments about the girl the night of the parties in part, he told the principal and school superintendent, because the players hadn’t thought they had done anything wrong, so there was no basis for suspending them. When a Times reporter tried to talk to Saccoccia about it, he didn’t react well.

“You made me mad now,” he said, throwing in several expletives as he walked from the high school to his car.

Nearly nose to nose with a reporter, he growled: “You’re going to get yours. And if you don’t get yours, somebody close to you will.”

Let’s talk about that famous quote “You’re going to get yours” for a moment; it wasn’t a threat and it’s part of why the New York Times piece was so deeply dishonest.

I have never spoken to Coach Saccoccia but I’ve spoken to people close to him. After the Times reporter badgered the coach and their agenda of trashing the Big Red football program and the city of Steubenville was clear, it’s my understanding that the coach was frustrated and was trying to get the reporter to understand that they were making a bad situation worse.

Someday, he told the reporter, bad things may happen to you or people you care about and how would you feel if a reporter was trying  to spin a story about it.

Nearly nose to nose with a reporter, he growled: “You’re going to get yours. And if you don’t get yours, somebody close to you will.”

 It’s about karma, not about a threat.

Shame on the New York Times and everyone who’s repeated the story without trying to confirm it. Shame. And may you have bad karma, too.


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