blogging / Multimedia views

NCAA's blogging policy in the news again – rant

NCAA logoImage via Wikipedia UPDATE: Adam Hemphill weighs in.

John Robinson points to the latest heavy-handed application of the NCAA’s Blogging Policy.

The Wiz of Odds blog notes:

 Reporters at Kirk Ferentz’s news conference Tuesday were handed a surprise by Iowa officials: A notice detailing conditions and limitations of the NCAA Blogging Policy.

That policy, which also gives the host institution final authority on whether a credential holder or credential entity is following policy, allows for only five blog entries per half, one at halftime and two in an overtime period of football and basketball games.

Mike Hlas, a blogger/sports columnist who may have been the proximal cause of the Iowa outburst, writes:

 OK, what’s causin’ all this commotion? I dunno, but maybe Gazetteonline.com’s liveblogging sessions hosted by Scott Dochterman and myself from the Maine-Iowa game may have irked someone, somewhere. Why? Who knows? Dochterman was doing a lot of play-by-play, so maybe they didn’t like that. Maybe they didn’t like me allowing outsiders to come in and make occasionally catty remarks? Maybe the Big Ten Network or Learfield or some suit at Iowa just didn’t like what they saw.

The Daily Eastern News had a live blog going during Saturday’s game against Illinois (see here for the first entry), and I haven’t heard of the reporter getting thrown out of the press box. They did it several times last season as well, with no repercussions from the EIU athletic department. Maybe the Eastern athletic deparment has a more enlightened view of liveblogging than the Iowa athletic department. Who knows.

(Humorous aside: Why do we take seriously a conference – the Big Ten – that can’t even count how many schools it has in its conference? Seriously, “The Big Ten Conference is a union of 11 world-class academic institutions who share a common mission of research, graduate, professional and undergraduate teaching and public service.” Which one is the smaller one?)

Either way, it’s a good reminder to make sure you’re following those STUPID NCAA rules. What are those rules?

Each Credential Holder (including television, Internet, new media, and print publications) has the privilege to blog (e.g., real-time or time delayed journal entries) during competition through the credential entity. All blogs must be free of charge to readers. All must adhere to the conditions and limitations of this NCAA Blogging Policy. A blog description includes in-competition updates on score and time remaining and a description of the competition taking place during the given time. The NCAA and host institution shall be the final authority on whether a credential holder or credential entity is following the NCAA Blogging Policy.

The following is the NCAA’s policy for the number of blogs allowed during a competition or session (i.e., where more than one contest takes place under the same admission ticket). They are applicable to both genders.

Basketball/Football: Five times per half; one at halftime, two times per overtime period.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: This is an IDIOTIC policy. It’s short-sighted, unnecessarily antagonistic and ignorant of new media realities.

As John notes, the double standard is obvious as the nose on your face:

Still, I don’t see the point of the NCAA’s rules. I can go to a game as a spectator, sit in the stands, and blog about it from my Blackberry (if I had one) as many times as I like. But if I’m in the press box someone is going to stand over my shoulder and count? Makes no sense. But then again, this is the same group that enforces recruiting violations.

Of course, expecting the NCAA to acknowledge such ridiculousness is like expecting water to flow uphill.

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