Miami U officials sent me a hockey coach recording in which the first 5 minutes had been cut

That’s it. That’s the blog post.

Oh, nah, I guess I’ll say a little more. 

Remember the tape of the hockey coaches that I wrote about a month ago—the one that Miami officials referred to as the “good tape,” when in fact the quality was very bad?

I’ve come to learn that the recording that they digitized and shared with me via Google Drive was a little bit shorter than the original version they had. 

This new information comes to us courtesy of Kira Pierson, a friend of the AGMIHTF family who started the inspiringly successful Facebook page Butler County Ohio Missing, now Ohio Valley Missing, and who did some super sleuthing for me yesterday. During her visit to University Archives, Kira watched the original tape as it played on a monitor and took some video clips of it.

The tape was essentially the same as the one on my Google Drive, except the version that Kira watched had about 5 extra minutes at the beginning. In the new part, Miami broadcaster Steve Baker introduces former coaches Steve Cady and William Davidge and then-head-coach Enrico Blasi to listeners and lets folks know what the topic of discussion would be, which was the history of Miami’s hockey program.

Although background noise in the clip interferes with the sound at some points, I was able to decipher enough words to understand that these 5 minutes seem important. First, there doesn’t appear to be a reference to Miami’s Oral History Project. It sounds more like a radio program. In his opening remarks, Baker says “for the next hour or so, you’re going to hear all about Miami University hockey…” which is odd, since the recording I received runs the full 90 minutes. Some of that is in slo-mo, but, um….? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I’ll be listening to the damaged tape again and actually timing it while listening. In addition, I’ve submitted a public records request for the missing 5 minutes.

Here’s what I don’t get: University officials had discovered the good tape sometime around September 14, but didn’t share the digitized version with me until October 13. You’d think that that would have been enough time for them to check, then double-check, and maybe even triple-check to make sure the tape they were sending me—the one that was being negotiated through their lawyer and my lawyer in front of a lawyer representing the Ohio Court of Claims office—was the entire tape.

11 thoughts on “Miami U officials sent me a hockey coach recording in which the first 5 minutes had been cut

  1. I watched the three tapes surrounding our elusive #129. 128 is an interview of the Marching Band, dated 4/29/09. It has a white title page identifying it as part of the Miami Oral History Project, and the interviewer, Eric Stauffer, immediately identifies it as part of the Miami Oral History Project. #130 is an interview of reps of the Village of Oxford. It has a white title page identifying it as part of the Miami Oral History Project, and the interviewer, Curtis Ellison, immediately identifies it as part of the Miami Oral History Project. #131 is an interview of Marjorie Miller Donovan. It has a white title page identifying it as part of the Miami Oral History Project, and the interviewer, Curtis Ellison, immediately identifies it as part of the Miami Oral History Project.

    I think it’s safe to conclude that regardless of a white page being added at the point of conversion to DVD, the interviewers were in fact routinely identifying what they were doing. Not sure what all of this means, but it’s a piece of information that might be useful.

  2. Okay, I found the place the tapes are online so I need not worry about showing up at King Library. The very first one in the series, of President Schriver, the interviewer, Curtis Ellison immediately identifies it as part of the Miami Stories Oral History Project. Starting with the next tape, and the rest of the first 10, the black title page shown before the video starts identifies it as part of the Miami Stories Oral History Project. I’ll sit and go through these but I suspect every single one has that black page on it. And I randomly checked a couple, and the interviewer early on mentioned the same thing.

  3. I’m pretty sure you know what I meant, but when I asked if ” a specific identification early in a recording as part of the “Miami Oral History Project” ” I was asking, did the host/interviewer plainly state in the first minute that “This recording is a part of the Miami Oral History Project”?

    1. I don’t know if they had exact words but yes, they mentioned the Oral History Project I’d say every time. But that’s something I can verify, since most of the interviews are posted online. That’s a good idea.

  4. Okay, first thought. Was a specific identification early in a recording as part of the “Miami Oral History Project” the standard procedure? I feel like that did happen in the tapes I watched on campus a while back. A lack of consistency in evidence, whether big or small, is a strong indication of manufactured evidence. I’d be happy to go back and watch every tape and see if that was the case in 100%, 50%, 10%, whatever.

    1. Every OHP tape had credit slides at the beginning of the tape. The credit slides were created by the OHP folks and placed into a shared folder so that the Digital Initiatives folks could access them while making the DVD. Because the university is arguing that the tape never made it to DVD, there won’t be credit slides on the tape, which is true. (I sought the credit slides for the Miami Hockey Coaches, but the university had no responsive records.) Also, before each interview, the interviewer will introduce everyone and will mention the Oral History Project in some way. Admittedly, there was a lot of background noise on the video clip, but I heard nothing about the Oral History Project. As I said, it sounded more like a radio broadcast that was only supposed to last an hour. We’ll see if my opinion changes when I get those 5 minutes from the university.

    2. Something else: the Miami Hockey Coaches recording seemed to be an outlier in comparison to the other recordings. Other than the signed consent forms, there are no other signs that the OHP folks followed protocol: no “documentation worksheet,” which was also standard practice and very important for processing the DVD. There is no backup audio recording, even though the tape was ostensibly damaged early on, even though that was the whole POINT of an audio backup. There are no credit slides that should have been prepared in advance for the Digital Initiatives staff. It’s just…different.

  5. Man, this is weird. I have some ideas but want to review all the information so far. I still think it’s just Miami Hockey and all, but I find it hard to believe a professional organization like Miami University could be THIS incompetent. And I don’t mean this ironically, but sincerely, all this amateurish nonsense after the lawyers are involved? Very hard to believe.

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