A Word Of Warning To Our Eastern Oregon Schools

John L. Braese

Having journalism contacts around Oregon and Idaho comes in very handy for easternoregonsports.com. We speak frequently with those around the state, kicking around new ideas, asking who is looking good in a region and trading photos/story ideas. This cooperation has proved invaluable, especially around state playoff time.

During one of those recent discussions, a negative arose, one that is now creeping into the halls of eastern Oregon schools.

When a parent, a coach, or a school administrator graciously allows a daughter/son, student athlete to speak with the press, it should be done without reservation, without worries. The experience deserves to be a positive and all involved need to be proud of the completed work.

EOS was recently informed Eric Watkins and Elite Oregon Girls, an online media publication highlighting girls’ sports in Oregon, was accepting applications for internships from student athletes including eastern Oregon schools. Watkins was highlighted in an outstanding article written by students at Portland’s Grant High School regarding inappropriate messages to female student athletes.

Due to the article, Watkins temporarily suspended his social media accounts and left Oregon. Since his return, a number of actions have occurred:

  • OSAA has updated criteria regarding eligibility of media passes.
  • The Salem-Keizer School District has trespassed Watkins from all school facilities.

The disparity in coverage between sports is something that cannot be solved here in this article. However, EOS takes great pride in a history of balanced coverage.

We urge student athletes, coaches and especially parents to read the below links and make an informed decision.