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Howard hardly on the hot seat

The frequency of slanted, biased and/or uneducated articles written about FAU has been increasing as of late.

Most of the time I just shake my head and move on, but every now and then I read something that I just can't let go.

I almost spit out my corn flakes this morning when out of the blue comes the latest one, courtesy of the BleacherReport.com - Hot Seat: That other old coach. If you've seen it already, you know what I am talking about. If you haven't you may want to sit down before reading.

The writer, Sean Martin, doesn't think Howard will be back coaching FAU after this season.

What makes steam come out of my ears is not that he says Howard will hang it up. But it would maybe behoove the writer to do just a bit more research than dialing up Schnellenberger's bio on Wikipedia.

A tad bit of reporting would reveal that Howard signed a contract extension last year to coach through at least the 2010 season which is extended to 2011 season if the stadium opens then. Also the day the deal was announced Schnellenberger told me this probably isn't the last extension he will sign. So much for Howard stepping down anytime soon.

However, this shows the danger of the Internet - anyone with a laptop may consider themselves a "reporter" these days. I hope Owl fans will be able to discern the difference between a professional reporter who has been covering FAU for years and someone whose only qualifications to fire off analysis and opinion is they have the technical ability to do so.

While I find such drivel annoying, occasionally what is written can be harmful or hurtful to a program. To write that a coach is on the "hot seat" without any basis in fact - and this isn't the first time a FAU coach's future has erroneously been called into question - can kill a coach on the recruiting trail. Don't think for a moment if a potential recruit is deciding between FAU and another school, that other school won't produce this column as "proof" Schnellenberger is on the way out.

Anyone has the right to their opinion, but if you are going to speculate on a coach's future, you better be able to back it up.
June 03, 2009

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