Reporting on a Tragedy: The Aaron Douglas ESPN Blog

Dave WalkerCorrespondent IMay 13, 2011

Picture from his 2009 season at Tennessee
Picture from his 2009 season at Tennessee

There are many ways to report and not to report on a major sports story. When someone transfers, graduates, or drops out of school the preferable way is to report on who is the next in line at that position for that particular school.

However, when someone passes away unexpectedly, that is simply not the case.

ESPN Insider Albert Lin, who is listed as one of their rumor central writers, evidently doesn't know that.

Lin decided to not pay any respect to the Alabama LT who had been an All American as a freshman at Tennessee, and had transferred to Western Arizona Community College to earn similar honors. Instead, he talked about who would step up and take his place.

What? You can't be serious! (The blog which he wrote on ESPN is included as a pic since they have since taken it down)

This brings up a serious question when it comes to blogs. Do the people writing these have any type of serious credibility?

According to Lin's Linkedin profile, he also served as an associate/senior editor at Sports Illustrated and has a B.A. from Michigan in Communications.

This, in my own personal opinion, just adds to the head shaking.

To Lin's credit, this quick little shot of a blog could have been directed to him by whomever is in charge of the bloggers, or, if you can call him one, an editorial director.

If you as the reader think that I am being too hard on Lin about this column, let me give you my credentials as a featured columnist (AKA  blogger) with the Bleacher Report.

I have a B.A. from Western Illinois University. I spent over five years as a photojournalist, where I actually was the one going up to the families' homes of those who had passed away. Never did I, or anyone else I worked with, ever not give our condolences to the family or not discuss who the person was.

Here is how I personally would have written the article, and ESPN, do take note:

"Alabama offensive lineman Aaron Douglas passed away suddenly today in Jacksonville, Florida. A Maryville, Tennessee native, he was a former Freshman All American at Tennessee before transferring to Arizona Community College where he earned similar honors.

This past year, he transferred to Alabama for his junior season, where he looked forward to competing at left tackle.

Alabama AD Mal Moore said,

'It is with tremendous sadness that we received the news of the passing of Aaron Douglas; 
our prayers and sympathies are with the Douglas family at this tragic time.'"

That is how you write professionally about an untimely death, no matter if you are a "blogger" like me, or a credentialed sports writer.

It is sad to see anyone lose their life at such a young age, and "talking" about who the next in line to fill his or her spot on the team is completely unprofessional no matter what rank you are.