December 28, 2006

NYTimes and the Hall of Fame

Dave Anderson's NYTimes column about the upcoming baseball and football hall of fame votes explained his endorsements but what I found most interesting was this tidbit:

At The New York Times, where writers and editors no longer take part in voting for sports awards, I do not cast ballots for the baseball Hall of Fame, and I've had to resign from the pro football selection committee.
This looks like something for the Public Editor to explain a bit more about. I find this very interesting not because it is a moral stand like the always-existent but never quite catching on movement for news journalists to not vote in political elections in order to stay neutral. Rather, it is because if all sports writers were to take this stance, the method for deciding who is admitted to the Hall of Fame would have to be completely reworked. (Journalists abstaining from political elections would not have a similarly significant effect.) I can't image, then, that many other newspapers have taken this stand. I'd be curious to hear how the decision came about at the Times. As a quick parallel, it is much like Ohio State coach Jim Tressel abstaining in the final BCS coaches poll and the guaranteed devastating effects on the BCS system if all coaches were to follow suit (wouldn't that be a shame).(Ed--Kant would be proud. Nerd.)