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The 'Nick Caserio Wants Out' Report Was Not A Report At All; It Was Opinion

By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) -- On Monday afternoon, The Boston Globe shared a story that carried the headline, "The real story in the Patriots-Texans clash: Nick Caserio wants out." The story included the line, "The real story is this: Nick Caserio wants out of New England." The story also included this line: "Specifically, he wants that Texans job." This line was also there: " It's certainly a significant plot twist that Caserio wants out." And, there were these two lines: "If Caserio is concerned about job security, there is no better place than New England, where he has lasted 19 years. Yet he still wants the Houston job."

Lastly, there was this conclusion: "It is interesting, to say the least, to see that Caserio wants out of New England."

The story was very straightforward, and given that it was written by NFL reporter Ben Volin, most outlets (including this one and many others) considered the story to be a report.

But apparently, this was all just Volin's opinion.

Volin went on Sports Radio 610 in Houston and explained that he did not have any sources telling him that Caserio wants out.

"So I just want to clarify one thing," Volin said on "The Triple Threat" show. "I'm seeing my column that I just posted a half-hour ago, I'm seeing it being referred to as a report all over the internet. And I don't think it's a report. I'm not talking, like, I don't have direct information from Caserio or his agent. Like, no one's telling me, 'Aw, Nick wants out.' What I'm doing is looking at all the facts of the situation and analyzing it and using some logic and common sense to try to tell people what's going on. And what I think is going on is pretty clear, that Nick Caserio wanted that Texans job, and the fact that the Krafts and the Patriots had to lawyer up and enforce his contract and file the tampering charges against the Texans, it's pretty clear that Caserio wanted that job and the Patriots are basically enforcing Caserio to play out his contract, so to speak."

On the one hand, the story itself didn't cite any sources. On the other hand, the definitive language both in the headline and the story did make it appear to be factual.

And while Volin's dot-connecting is fair and logical, it's not the only possible conclusion one could draw from the situation. It remains possible that Caserio is perfectly happy in his role as direct of player personnel for the Patriots, and it remains possible that Jack Easterby tried to improperly recruit Caserio during the Patriots' ring ceremony last week at Robert Kraft's house. If both of those scenarios were true, then it's likely that Caserio would have informed his bosses of such contact. Those bosses may have responded accordingly.

Now, all of that is just mere conjecture, and it is not reporting. It does, though show at least one alternate theory that could or should have curbed clear-cut phrases like "Caserio wants out of New England," lest such a story be interpreted nationally as a report and not an opinionated column.

UPDATE: Volin spoke on WEEI in Boston, and he said that he now stands by his story as a report, not just an opinion.

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