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Dez Bryant and inappropriate questions

Here's Guest Dad Joe Burris with Father's Day Friday:

Whenever I speak to college journalism classes, I tell them that I spent 18 years of my 23-year journalism career as a sportswriter, and some students look in awe and ask, "Why would give up that job?"

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Sometimes I wish I had a copy of such stories as one currently making headlines in sports, involving an NFL general manager and a would-be NFL draft pick.

Leading up to the last week's draft, Miami Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland conducted a pre-draft interview with a player that Miami apparently had interest in selecting, Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant.

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Now, Bryant's background had been reported prior to the draft. His mother was 15 when she gave birth to him and she served some time in jail for selling crack cocaine.

It seems Bryant's family history led Ireland to believe he could broach any question that came to mind. Questions like:

That is what Ireland is reported to have asked Bryant during the interview. Bryant reportedly answered, "No," in an outraged tone, but he refrained from any further action lest he hurt his chances of employment in the NFL. And Ireland has since apologized for the question.

I have to admit that if I were still a sportswriter and had been assigned this topic, I would have found it difficult to cover it. I understand that these days many sports teams are eager to screen prospects as much as possible to flesh out any potential bad seeds before investing millions in them.

But I can't imagine how such a question makes sense in a job interview -- be it for a job with an NFL team or Silicon Valley tech firm or car wash.

I've lived a fairly uneventful life, one that some folks might classify as nerdy, and I hope it stays that way. But when my young daughters enter the working world, I don't want a prospective employer to ask anything about me -- even such questions as, "Why did your dad give up sports writing?"

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