Regarding the latest Philbin story

March 7th, 2012 at 3:51 pm by under Uncategorized

Earlier today, we posted information regarding the conclusion of the investigation into the death of Michael Philbin, the son of former Packers offensive coordinator and current Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin.

We have received several comments critical of us for reporting the information. Here’s why we believe it’s appropriate to report.

* We have followed the tragic case from the beginning. It makes sense to report the conclusion of the case.

* The incident was the subject of many rumors. By reporting the final determination by authorities – an accidental drowning – hopefully that puts some of the rumors to rest.

* When the Oshkosh Police Dept. sent us the release, included a statement from Coach Philbin and the family. We did not ask for such comment. It was provided to us. If you read it, it is a powerful statement from a grieving family. It includes a warning to not mix illegal drugs and alcohol. Because of the references to illegal drugs, etc., I’m not sure it would make total sense without the information from the police report.

* Our stories have included other information about Michael Philbin, including that he made the Dean’s List and had a 3.4 GPA at Ripon College.

We understand this has been a tragic situation for the Philbin family. It is not our intent to add to the family’s pain. We have respected the wishes of the family and Packers organization in matters related to coverage of the event, the funeral, questioning the coach about the incident, and so on.

But, the fact remains that the accidental drowning death of a college student – whether it was Michael Philbin, the UW-Stevens Point incident a week ago, or the several incidents near the UW-La Crosse campus – is indeed news. The Philbin family’s statement today indicates its hope this incident can serve as a lesson to others. I think it would be irresponsible of us not to report it or to share those sentiments. And it would be irresponsible to withhold information as well.

And, as always, we appreciate your feedback.

One Response to “Regarding the latest Philbin story”

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