The Telegram & Gazette of Worcester called home its New England Patriots beat writer from the Super Bowl in Jacksonville after he allegedly plagiarized parts of his Sunday column from a Sports Illustrated writer.
The newspaper published a correction yesterday, saying "Substantial portions of a column originally written by Peter King and published Jan. 24 on the Sports Illustrated website were printed Jan. 30 in the Sunday Telegram under the byline of Ken Powers."
The newspaper also said that it was conducting a full investigation into the matter. "We apologize to our readers and to Sports Illustrated," the newspaper said.
Questions arose about the column after a reader tipped off the paper to similarities between the columns. Both were about the success of the Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles, who play in Sunday's Super Bowl, after both lost their first games of the 2003 season.
Among the questionable passages:
In the second paragraph of his column, Powers wrote, "Each team was 0-1, and each had fallen to 0-1 in rather humiliating fashion. The Patriots had been shut out in Buffalo, 31-0, just four days after releasing very popular defensive captain Lawyer Milloy because he refused to take a substantial pay cut."
King wrote: "Each team was 0-1, and each had fallen to 0-1 in rather humiliating fashion. The Patriots got shut out in Buffalo 31-0, just four days after whacking very popular defensive captain Lawyer Milloy because he wouldn't take a major pay cut."
A message left at a Millbury listing for Ken Powers with a man who identified himself as Powers's father was not immediately returned. A request for comment to his work e-mail was not immediately returned. A Worcester listing for Kenneth Powers was disconnected.
Kathy Shaw, the Worcester unit chair for Local 31041 of The Newspaper Guild, said the union is representing Powers. She declined further comment.
Efforts to reach King in Jacksonville were unsuccessful. Allison Keane, a Sports Illustrated spokeswoman, said the magazine would not comment.
Harry T. Whitin, editor of the Telegram & Gazette, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.