Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Luddite University of Iowa Athletic Department Limits Blogging at Games

Illustration for article titled Luddite University of Iowa Athletic Department Limits Blogging at Games

Before Kirk Ferentz's press conference yesterday a blogging policy was passed out to credentialed media members. What did this policy state? Well, here goes, "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." So is the NCAA going to count posts now? Wow. That's a pretty ballsy move for an institution where being accused of raping a fellow athlete and having your athletic department cover it up is permissible. This policy is clearly ridiculous and sounds positively antediluvian. "Number of blogs allowed during a competition" ranks right up there with your grandparents calling movies "moving pictures." But, to be fair, blogging from a press box doesn't make much sense. Especially not if you've ever read most of the horrible blogs that come from older members of the media. If you've actually been to a press box, you know it's about a tenth as much fun as watching the game from your couch with a couple of friends. But, even still, what does this policy protect, promote or advance? In other words, what is the fear that necessitates this policy in the first place? What's more, if you've already credentialed a member of the media, what's the motive behind restricting what they can say about your product? Because here's the deal, more attention to your product is a good thing. And it's not like anyone is choosing to read a live blog instead of watch or listen to the game themselves. This policy is just stupid on so many levels. Isn't anyone in the Iowa athletic department under the age of 50? This doesn't even consider the First Amendment issues of a state university restricting commentary by independent reporters. Imagine if the Iowa athletic department limited game articles to five regulation paragraphs and two overtime paragraphs. It would be absurd and ridiculous, right? Why isn't this as well? I love the idea of a blogger actually trying to follow these rules while, you know, live-blogging. How do you decide if a play or observation is worthy of one of your five comments in the first half? What if you use up your second-half comments before a big comeback? This is just incredibly stupid. So, to reiterate, covering up the sexual assault of one athlete by another at Iowa...permissible. Posting more than five comments a half during a sporting event...impermissible. Good to know where the priorities are. NCAA and Iowa: You will blog when we tell you to blog [Mike Hlas's blog] NCAA, newspapers draw blogging battle lines [The Wiz of Odds]


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