A statement from Collegian advisor Brad Hallier: We are aware of the allegations surrounding the Hutchinson Community College football team and coach Rion Rhoades, and players not showing up for practice, from other media reports. After much discussion with students, we felt we should address how the student journalists are handling the situation.
We want to emphasize that we are not sweeping this story under the rug or hoping it goes away. However, the Collegian also has a policy of not using anonymous sources, unless there’s a perceived threat of physical safety, like in the case of a rape victim going public with a story. In that case, we would protect the victim’s identity.
This does not mean we think the story is false or incorrect. It means we want something concrete before we report it.
Another reason The Collegian has this policy is because of the lack of trust between the public and the media, which seems to be at an all-time high.
Student reporters have contacted football players, and so far, none has been willing to talk to us on the record. We respect that decision.
Many news outlets have policies regarding the use of anonymous sources. Our policy is not better than another’s, and it’s not worse. This is how we choose to handle anonymous sources.
We would like to encourage any football player, or any person who has first-hand knowledge of what was said and what happened to please call me at 620-665-3427, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.