Later this month, Des Moines will host some of the first and second round games of the NCAA men’s basketball national tournament. Last year, the full tournament produced revenues of $1 billion and of course the NCAA graciously shared those dollars with the athletes who attracted the audiences. Wait, no that is not actually accurate. But at least they allow their athletes to profit from the use of their name, image, and likeness. Actually, that’s not accurate either?
Well, as the organization continues to fall into PR and ethical landmines, here are a few tips for coaches and athletes to effectively interact with the media over the coming weeks.
- Don’t lose your cool. You may get asked loaded or aggressive questions, but you control your response. Come back to your main themes, which in this case is the team, the game, the season, and the experience. “Did your struggles on offense make this game closer than it should have? Of course, I wish I had shot it better today, but there are a lot of ways to contribute to the team’s success. Overall, I was happy that collectively we were able to do what was necessary to win today and move to the next round.”
- Don’t address hypotheticals. No one can predict the future. It’s not fair for reporters to ask you to do so. “Can Duke win the title with an injured Zion Williamson? No one can really say definitively, but what I can tell you is this team has improved all season long, our players have great chemistry, and we have one of the best coaches in the history of college basketball.”
- Showcase your personality. Take a look at how Taurean Prince from Baylor dunks (figuratively) on a reporter.
Hopefully these tips will help as March Madness enters its full swing in the coming weeks.