A newspaper column that appeared in The Vindicator featuring Liberty High School graduate Bradley Fletcher will no longer appear, and the companion blog for the column was removed from our Vindy.com web site Friday.
Some material that was provided as Fletcher’s column appeared verbatim in another newspaper, the Provo (Utah) Daily Herald, under another football player's name, Naufahu Tahi, who plays for the Minnesota Vikings.
In examining the last three weeks' installments as well as the opening pre-season column provided to each newspaper under each player's name, the work is essentially identical -- or at least close enough that they are essentially the same columns.
Both football players are represented by the same player agency, and that begins to explain the origins of this charade.
It was understood in launching the column that Fletcher would be aided by a publicist in the weekly writing, but the ideas and essence of the weekly piece were to be his original ideas and his own thoughts.
Friday, Fletcher said the columns met that commitment — that the weekly pieces were his own ideas and thoughts. He said he was unaware the publicist was offering the same content to the Provo newspaper under Tahi's name.
Tahi expresses similar claims. Clearly — two players in two towns were not simultaneously thinking identically on topics such as Twitter, fantasy football and realizing NFL dreams, which are among the overlapping themes.
How it all played out is rather murky. The agency blames the publicist, and the publicist has not repsonded to my contact.
With regrets, Fletcher and The Vindicator have agreed to cease any further work for the immediate future.