I grew up in Connecticut where women’s basketball rules.
Long before other women’s college teams got exposure and respect, the public TV station broadcast the UConn games. In fact, CPTV began its coverage of the university women during the 1993-94 season and has covered the team ever since.
Given the intense interest in all things related to UConn’s women’s basketball team, including long-time coach Geno Auriemma, it’s not a huge surprise that the state’s largest daily newspaper, the Hartford Courant, hired Auriemma’s daughter, Alysa, to write a blog about the six-time national championship team team.
The 23-year-old, who graduated from UConn with a degree in dramatic arts, said she’ll take readers behind the scenes, but will not write anything controversial about her father’s team.
She said she’ll also counter what she called “false press” about her father, a Hall of Famer who will coach the women’s basketball team in the 2012 Olympics.
Now, according to ESPN, the Courant is re-evaluating its plan.
The newspaper’s sports editor, Jeff Otterbein, says he hired Alysa Auriemma to give an insider’s viewpoint about her father and the team on monthly blog postings during the upcoming basketball season. Otterbein said Alysa Auriemma would be paid $125 per article.
The arrangement has been criticized by a media ethics expert and journalists, who call Alysa Auriemma’s role a conflict of interest.
Otterbein says he at first considered the blog “a slice of something they could not get elsewhere.”
He said the newspaper is now reconsidering the relationship and is asking readers for their opinions.