Ishaq Williams’ father has ripped The Fizz, after our criticism of his comments stating his desire to make his son a household name. A commenter posting as “ishaqdad” left these two comments at 11:22p last night.
- Listen to D.A. “On the Block” with Brent Axe explain the controversy.
The email which was used to register these comments was cross-referenced with previous contact information we had for Shaun Williams and it checks out. The Fizz has exchanged emails with Ishaq’s dad about the comments and applaud him for the standup gesture of connecting his working email address. Often commenters sling anonymous barbs under the cloak of internet invisbility. The Fizz attaches our names to everything we write. We’re glad he did as well. IshaqDad posted:
“I am ishaq‚Äôs father and i don‚Äôt frankly care how you feel about the fact that i attended your alma mater. you have obviously been studying my statements and actions (with the hats) and now you say my priorities are mixed up? it‚Äôs seems you are deluded, but i am not. you make money off of carrying this type of news, i don‚Äôt. i am looking for the best situation for my son. if he injures himself and can no longer play football, neither you nor any of your readers will care about him or what hat i am wearing. we said all schools were equal and we meant it. i guess if you don‚Äôt like my statements, that is your choice. you should at least thank me for giving you something to write about. in the end it is all entertainment. i‚Äôm not hard to reach. and yes, the possibility of my son becoming a household name across america is appealing to me. how dare you question my priorties? are you not entertained. my son is in the position that he is in because of guidance, not a wicked 40 time!
btw, from the very beginning our actions were framed around attempting to help the ‚Äòcuse in more ways than one. that‚Äôs all i will say on that. you can ask the people that matter (the coaching staff) about that. every conversation that i have had with the distinguished head coach of the football team was how (despite what ishaq‚Äôs choice is) we as a family could help the program. there is a bigger picture here than just your little world of orange and blue. i guess every good deed does get punished. give me a freaking break. you might be able to see the bigger picture, but it doesn‚Äôt matter at all to you. btw, didn‚Äôt you guys ask us about an interview a few weeks ago? i hope that‚Äôs not why we are getting castigated.”
The statement which first caused the criticism of Papa Williams was his reasoning behind the Irish being a good fit. He stated, “Notre Dame and the ability to get that program back to national prominence and for Ishaq to be a household name across America.‚Äù
My response read: “But the hope that Ishaq becomes ‘a household name across America’ seems a strange desire from a parent. Wouldn‚Äôt the hope be for their son to play for a trustworthy coach, take advantage of an education and grow as a person on the field and off? Are you helping choose a positive environment for your child or a PR firm?
There are no rumblings that Ishaq is anything but a respectable young man who‚Äôs dealt with some of life‚Äôs hardships and turned them into positives. But if Ishaq‚Äôs parents have made the marketing of him a priority, I‚Äôm no longer proud they attended my alma mater.”
Let’s clarify a few things here: Some have misinterpreted my criticisms as sour grapes or “whining” that Syracuse was no longer “the favorite.” That could not be further from the truth. As I’ve written here numerous times, cited on the FizzCasts and said on the air continually, SU even being in this discussion is a victory. When was the last time the Orange recruited against Notre Dame and Penn State? Doug Marrone has led this program out of the very depths of college football. Brandon Reddish has just committed. Whatever Ishaq’s decison is we wish any young man the best of luck pursuing an education and success on and off the playing fields. That message has been consistent on The Fizz since our launch.
The Fizz did indeed reach out to Mr. Williams last week in doing our due-diligence to bring you the most factual Ishaq coverage possible. Mr. Williams did not respond. This post has no connection to that. We contintally reach out to parents, high school coaches and the athletes themselves. The Fizz has done this for more than 2 1/2 years. Mr. Williams is not the first to decline or ignore the offer, he won’t be the last. We never internalize or personalize the student-athletes (and their parents) we cover. It’s all part of a bigger coverage framework of athletics at Syracuse University. No one athlete makes or breaks a program (well, maybe Carmelo).
In the original post, Notre Dame itself was never referenced either. This was not complaining Syracuse didn’t have the national exposure the Irish did. The criticism was of some parents’ slanted priority toward marketing their son instead of encouraging them to follow the most nurturing path. This is not an Ishaq-specific problem. We see this all the time in college athletics. The allure of fame, celebrity and fortune are far more attractive than positioning a young man in his best-suited environment.
The entire post was centered around the premise “IF Ishaq’s parents have made the marketing of him a priority…” then I would be disappointed. I still hold true to that sentiment. I would be suprised if many of you disagree with that notion. I do realize many Syracuse fans and impartial observers missed that point and believe I’ve been unfairly critical. I apologize for that. Clearly I did not get my message across as needed.
This statement by Shaun Williams is intriguing. “how dare you question my priorties? are you not entertained.” Maybe that’s all he’s trying to do – entertain everyone. Maybe the hat switching, the statements, his comments to The Fizz is just part of Papa Williams “playing the game.” If so, thanks. The last week-plus has been wildly intriguing.
From a Fizz standpoint, I have been humbled by the attention and readership this post and the rest of the Ishaq coverage has garnered here on the site. It’s not taken lightly. The entire Fizz staff works very hard to get its information correct and its coverage fair. I do not want this to reflect poorly on the great work done on this story by Team Fizz: Ted Conroy, Craig Hoffman, Mike Couzens and Andrew Kanell. This was a columnist opinion, an op-ed piece. It has nothing to do with the groundwork being done by the staff in getting the best information delivered to you the Fizz reader.
As for Syracuse fans upset that maybe this post turned Ishaq away from attending SU? Fear not. If indeed Ishaq’s parents are guiding him in this choice, no intelligent and grounded support group would weigh what a college blog has to say in the decision. If Doug Marrone’s the best coach, the program is the best fit and the university has the best academics, throwing that all away because of a blog post is beyond short-sighted. I don’t believe the Williams’ clan is that.
I stand by my original point: If Ishaq’s parents have prioritized the marketing of him over the best fit for personal growth, it’s fair to question and criticize. If they have not, then I applaud them and apologize for any misinterpretation.