Brandon Kamerman apologizes for an erroneous Dan Lanning report. Brandon Kamerman apologizes for an erroneous Dan Lanning report. (Hayden Herrera on Twitter.)

The coaching carousel season often sees some wrong reports. One big one in this cycle so far came from Brandon Kamerman, an evening news anchor and former sports anchor at Eugene, Oregon CBS affiliate KVAL. On air Wednesday night, Kamerman cited sources in Tuscaloosa (where he previously worked) on a report that Oregon coach Dan Lanning was in that town to interview for the job of replacing retiring Alabama coach Nick Saban:

Kamerman was not the only one to report that Lanning was in Tuscaloosa and interviewing for that job. Tony Tsoukalas, managing editor for Rivals’ Tide Illustrated subscription site, also cited his own sources on that:

But Lanning was not, in fact, in Tuscaloosa. On Thursday, Matt Zenitz of 247 Sports reported that Lanning was actually at home in Eugene watching a Jason Bourne movie with his family Wednesday:

So Lanning at least theoretically could have gotten up from his movie, gone to the KVAL studios, and made this report look exceptionally dumb. He didn’t do that, but later Thursday, he did  confirm he was staying at Oregon with a video posted to social media. So that left those who inaccurately reported his trip to Tuscaloosa looking a bit silly.

Kamerman’s report here was notable, as illustrated in how it took off. This wasn’t just a message board user or anonymous poster (although those and other unlikely sources are sometimes right as well), this was a local news anchor in the Ducks’ home market who also had connections in Tuscaloosa. And he was relaying it on air, not just on Twitter. That didn’t necessarily mean it was right, as many of these moves tend to be broken by national college football reporters rather than local TV figures, but it made it worth considering.

But Kamerman’s report here was completely and unequivocally wrong. If he had stuck with something smaller like “Dan Lanning might be a candidate at Alabama” or even “Alabama has reached out to Dan Lanning,” that would be tougher to disprove. But his report on Lanning actually being in Tuscaloosa was completely incorrect. And that left him and his station looking bad.

For his part, Kamerman addressed the error here with an on-air apology Thursday. And beyond apologizing to the public, he specifically apologized to the station’s sports team, which was not involved in his initial report. That was appreciated by sports director Hayden Herrera:

“Yesterday, we were part of those rumors, reporting that Lanning was in Alabama. That information was wrong. I take full responsibility for that. It wasn’t the KVAL sports team, it wasn’t the rest of the news department here, which is filled with ethical, strong journalists. That one was on me. I take it seriously, and I do want to apologize to our viewers and to my colleagues. We strive to be accurate in our reporting, and when we make an error in our reporting, as I did yesterday, we own up to it. Dan Lanning in Eugene has absolutely no egg on his face tonight, I wear the egg.”

The apology there is appreciated, and it’s more than some others have done. And mistakes do happen, and they often do happen around coaching searches. Those see a lot of attempts at secrecy, and a lot of attempts to get past that (even with flight tracking sometimes, although we’ve seen where that can go wrong in other sports).

But there’s a good reminder here of the challenge with anonymous sources; if you’re going to cite them, you’re putting your own and your outlet’s reputation behind the accuracy of that information. And when that doesn’t work out, there certainly is some egg splashing back on you, as Kamerman found out here.

[Hayden Herrera on Twitter/X]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.