In the event you care, we’re not reporting on Bruce Weber’s retirement. That’s because it’s not happening.

Well, check that. We reported on the subject Thursday, after K-State’s season-ending loss, only because legit news reporters were asking him about it during a press conference. They were asking him because some yahoo in Maryland published speculation online.

The yahoo in question is the founder and operator of a website that focuses on University of Maryland sports; it’s now a part of what’s called the “247 Sports” network. That network, owned by CBS, was previously called “Rivals,” and it has a local affiliate in Manhattan called Back in the day, that outfit published a glossy print magazine called Powercat Illustrated.

The guy in Maryland put on Twitter that he was hearing that Bruce Weber would retire after this season, so there would be a job opening here in Manhattan. And reporters brought it up with Coach Weber after the game Thursday because, among other things, the guy in Maryland is a “verified” person on Twitter.

What does that mean? Evidently it means that he is who he says he is. Evidently if I wanted to be “verified,” all I would need to do is send out a bunch more tweets. Well, hell! Guess I’ll start telling my legions of Twitter followers about the delicious leftover pizza I just had for lunch! Then everyone will believe anything I say!

Anyway, here’s the thing: Coach Weber is not retiring, and said so Thursday. The substantive question for the first half of this year was whether he would be fired, since the team was historically bad, but Athletics Director Gene Taylor put that to rest at that point. And then the team improved, so there’s zero reason to think anything else.

But we’ve once again entered the goofball coaching carousel season, which occurs annually in November and March. As you might recall, there was once a report that Gary Patterson had been hired to coach K-State football, and then, in another round, that Seth Littrell was about to be hired. We’re into the territory of head fakes and purposeful manipulation, where coaches’ agents toss rumors around to goose their own commission.

The lesson here is not that you should never believe some guy from Maryland. It is not that you should never believe somebody associated with 247 Sports.

It is simply this: Think. Think independently. If you do so, you will seriously question that sort of speculation.

First thing to think about: Is there any reason to think Bruce Weber is retiring? No. Even before he was asked about it Thursday, there was no indication of it.

Second: Why should you believe somebody in Maryland about this? Do you know what his source is? Does that source — or the guy in Maryland himself — have some connection to Bruce Weber, or K-State?

His tweet just said “I’m hearing that…,” without attributing his information to anyone at all. There’s no way to check the credibility of his source. We are just supposed to believe him. Or if it turns out to be false, he can just say: “Oh, I had bad intel.” How are you, as a reader, supposed to judge for yourself?

That’s a red flag. You as a reader should be very cautious about that kind of assertion. If you choose to believe the speculation, you are choosing to put your faith entirely in the person doing the speculating, and — to a certain extent — the organization that he works for. In this case, evidently, the organization he works for allows him to just pass along speculation.

That’s a waste of your time and attention.

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