According to the Courier-Journal, staff blogger Brian Bennett was approached by NCAA officials in the fifth inning of a game between the University of Lousville and Oklahoma State, told that blogging "from an NCAA championship event 'is against NCAA policies (and) we're revoking the (press) credential and need to ask you to leave the stadium.'"But the NCAA was not content with simply stomping on the First Amendment. In legendary KGB fashion, they went on to threaten the University of Louisville with severe penalties --
Courier-Journal representatives were told by two members of the U of L athletic staff that if the school did not revoke Bennett's credential it would jeopardize the school's chances of hosting another NCAA baseball eventIf this wasn't the NCAA, I'd find this story unbelievable. When in doubt, threaten the members of your own Politburo -- that appears to be the mantra from Comrade Myles Brand.
The NBA and MLB have seen the light. Consider that Dallas Mavericks opened a wiki to allow fans to chronicle every single game in real-time. MLB allows media partners to 'glog' on games in real time (and encourages registered fans to jump in as well). Heck, the NBA live blogs during the NBA Finals. Meanwhile, the San Antonio Express-News has a live blog during the NBA Finals -- btw, does anybody think David Stern will send his henchmen over to shut these folks down? Not a chance in hell.
Yet the NCAA refuses to enact a smart, enlightened policy that would actually increase interest in the championship events it is chartered to foster. That's pure insanity, especially given the undeniable benefit that new media vehicles provide in reaching a fast-growing audience even as traditional newspaper readership and network television viewership decline precipitously. In fact, during the first six months of 2006, newspaper circulation in the United States declined at the fastest rate in at least 15 years. That decline is rosy compared to statistics revealed by The Audit Bureau of Circulations several weeks ago which indicated that "daily circ fell 2.1% while Sunday tumbled 3.1%" despite "easing comparisons". Cooking the books doesn't even help the dinosaurs.
So, while new media readership expands at a nearly unprecedented rate, the NCAA battens down the hatches to protect a doomed patient on life support (even if the patient in this case is trying to evolve in order to survive). Brilliant!
Here is Rick Bozich's article on this mess.
Deadspin clobbers the mental midgets at the NCAA. Baseball America jumps in a well.