NCAA boots blogger at baseball game
Posted at 5:17 PM on June 11, 2007 by Bill Wareham (1 Comments)
I've been waiting for this issue to surface:
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - A reporter was ejected from an NCAA
baseball tournament game for submitting live Internet updates
Brian Bennett, a writer for The (Louisville, Ky.)
Courier-Journal, was approached Sunday by an NCAA representative in
the bottom of the fifth inning and told that blogging from an NCAA
championship event is against NCAA policies.
Bennett had done live blogging during Louisville's super
regional games against Oklahoma State in the previous two games of
the three-game series. The representative revoked Bennett's
credential Sunday and asked him to leave the game.
"It's clearly a First Amendment issue," said Bennie Ivory, the
newspaper's executive editor. "This is part of the evolution of
how we present the news to our readers. It's what we did during the
Orange Bowl. It's what we did during the NCAA basketball
tournament. It's what we do."
The newspaper's lawyer, Jon L. Fleischaker, added: "I think
there's the potential for some action. We're still talking about
NCAA spokesman Bob Williams said Monday that Bennett was asked
not to blog about game action before Sunday's game.
"In a nutshell, we asked the blogger repeatedly not to cover it
in that manner, because it violates the policy, and he continued,
and his credential was revoked," Williams said.
Sports credentials usually come with very specific limitations, and sports leagues have actually been very innovative in providing online in-progress updates, so bloggers pose a very real threat to their franchise.
While I'm inclined to agree with Ivory that this is a freedom of the press issue, the NCAA is free to make their own rules and to enforce them. That does not change the fact that it's bad policy, business, and press. There is no justifiable reason why blogging during a game should not be allowed, if the NCAA is willing to consider partnering with newspapers and setting reasonable rules and guidelines instead of a blanket ban. If live radio coverage of a game is permitted and the sports leagues have learned to live with and work with sportscasters, then perhaps they need to learn to live and work with the bloggers. The internet is still uncharted landscape for newspapers, so it will only be a matter of time before blogging becomes yet another way of getting the news. Sports leagues should either get with it or prepare to become dinosaurs of the technological age.
Posted by David Philip Norris | June 13, 2007 6:14 PM