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Censorship The Internet

NCAA Puts Severe Limits On Sport Event Blogging 185

Posted by Zonk
from the because-commentary-isn't-appropriate-for-sporting-events dept.
An anonymous reader writes "You would think that the NCAA would be thrilled to have reporters live blogging events in order to generate more interest and keep passionate fans talking about NCAA sports. Not so. The governing body of the NCAA has released new rules for receiving press credentials and it includes severe limits on live blogging. If you're covering NCAA football, make sure you don't blog more than 3 times in a single quarter. If it's baseball, one post an inning is all you get. If you don't follow the rules expect to get ejected and have your press credentials pulled."
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NCAA Puts Severe Limits On Sport Event Blogging

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Is it something like... chess?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by gbulmash (688770) *
      It may seem like a joke, but basically the NCAA's position is "you guys are great until you start costing us sponsors or licensing revenue, then you're a nuisance," which is basically how rabid fans fans are treated by bands, sports teams, etc.

      - Greg
  • That's total bullshit. Either nobody will obey the rules, or nobody will blog anymore. I don't care one way or the other.

    Also, NCAA, shoot yourself in the foot much?

  • £5 says (Score:5, Funny)

    by Malevolent Tester (1201209) on Thursday December 20, 2007 @03:43PM (#21768834) Journal
    The baseball bloggers start compiling meticulous statistics on ejection averages.
  • by aepervius (535155) on Thursday December 20, 2007 @03:44PM (#21768852)
    I mean, if I am joe-everybody, and got somehow a pda with wireless connection in a stadium or mobile phone+internet, how can they even hope to stop me writing post in a blog (or even a normal html web page) on the exciting match I am just watching ? I can't see anything copyrighted here (describing an event in writing) where they could even stops me, would not it ? Less even detect at which seating I am ?
    • by pipatron (966506) <pipatron@gmail.com> on Thursday December 20, 2007 @03:52PM (#21768996) Homepage
      They might take your equipment before you are allowed entrance to the event. Wouldn't be surprised if this happens.
      • I'd like to see them take the mobile phones off 90000 fans.
        • I'd like to see them take the mobile phones off 90000 fans.


          No problem. Just put out a signal strong enough to block the cell phone signal. The people can still keep their phones, just not get a signal to use them.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by NNKK (218503)
            Which would be a violation of federal law.
            • So do it passively. Cover all domes in copper mesh.

              Copper's cheap these days. I mean I have a ton laying around my house in little round circles. Just cover the entire dome in those.

              And when it costs $XX Million per arena, somehow blame revenue going down on the bloggers. Find some way that you can use the patriot Act or DMCA against said bloggers.

              It's the AA-merican way.
      • One of the selling points of some stadiums is Wifi all over. Take the San Francisco Giant's baseball stadium.

        http://sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com/sf/ballpark/wifi.jsp [mlb.com]
        • by cayenne8 (626475)
          Besides, who needs a 'press pass' to do a blog?!?!?

          If you bring in a laptop, especially to use their free wifi....how the hell will they know what you're doing? Connect to your home server via ssh, and they'll never see the traffic you're generating either...

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by jayhawk88 (160512)
      This is the same organization that is used to discovering how many phone calls a coach's assistant made to a recruits uncle between the months of April and August from 4 years ago. Trust me, they've got no problem sweating the details.
    • by bcattwoo (737354) on Thursday December 20, 2007 @03:53PM (#21769022)
      And how are they going to take away your press credentials that you never had? This isn't for joe-everybody, it is for people with press credentials.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by rujholla (823296)
      They are talking about pulling offenders press passes -- so these are rules for people who are getting in under their rules to begin with. Not the guy in the stand blogging about the great game.
    • by hal2814 (725639) on Thursday December 20, 2007 @03:57PM (#21769072)
      "Less even detect at which seating I am ?"

      I think you miss the point. The only seating they are concerned with here is the press box (and anywhere else press credentials will get you like the sidelines in some cases). If you're going to blog from the stands, then no they can't stop you but if you're going to use your blog to become a card-carrying member of the press and get into the event on their dime, then you're going to play by their rules. Generally speaking they will be keeping an eye on you in that case. They're kind of stupid rules but at least bloggers can get press credentials for NCAA events.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by khallow (566160)
        What happens if you need to be a card-carrying member of the press in order to legitimately live blog a game without being ejected? I guess I'm not seeing why they can't eject people who live blog, whether these people are press members or not.
    • by spiritraveller (641174) on Thursday December 20, 2007 @03:59PM (#21769102)
      It's targeted at people with press credentials. If you have press credentials, you probably aren't sitting in the stands. You are probably in the press area. And since you have applied for and received these credentials, they know who you are.

      How would they detect it? By checking your blog probably.

      Can they stop Joe Everybody from doing it? As a practical matter, probably not. And they probably aren't too worried about Joe Everybody (at least not yet). As for the legal issues, I don't see a problem with it. It's their game, and they set the rules. If you break the rules, they kick you out.
    • Actually most tickets have a license printed on the back of them, much like that wonderful EULA you clicked 'Accept' to get past. Includes stuff like you won't sue if a puck/ball injure you, etc.. Take a closer look next time you attend an event. Perhaps you're not one to attend these events and are busy hiding under your LED lights in your basement :) Either way, the limits are technically there. The fact that nobody has a laptop typing as they are doing the wave is something else...
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Luscious868 (679143)

      How do they expect to detect this ?

      If you want to get press credentials then you've got to follow the rules. I'm sure part of the process of applying for the credentials involves letting the NCAA know which site you write for and as such they could check to see how many times you post to that site if they want to.

      Since this only applies to bloggers with press credentials, you can do whatever you damn well please if you just buy a ticket and sit in the stands like everybody else. Of course, good luck doi

    • I mean, if I am joe-everybody, and got somehow a pda with wireless connection in a stadium or mobile phone+internet, how can they even hope to stop me writing post in a blog (or even a normal html web page) on the exciting match I am just watching ? I can't see anything copyrighted here (describing an event in writing) where they could even stops me, would not it ? Less even detect at which seating I am ?

      It applies to credentialed press only - not joe-fan; while you could probably blog to your hearts conten
  • This is so retarded it's hard to find the right words to express the expanse of stupidity it represents. Not to mention the 20,000 or so people in the stands texting and emailing pictures. Or are they going to take everyone's cell phone away and frisk them at the door?

    Maybe I shouldn't give them any ideas.

  • by Itchyeyes (908311) on Thursday December 20, 2007 @03:46PM (#21768882) Homepage
    What exactly does the NCAA hope to accomplish by revoking press credentials when just about anyone can blog from anywhere with nothing more than a smart phone? Will the NCAA then start revoking peoples' cellphones at the gates? This move just reeks of idiocy.
    • by dgatwood (11270)

      Simple. By making the press creds for bloggers so draconian a burden that nobody accepts them, they avoid pissing off the big boys who like to believe they are special simply because they have press credentials and you, the huddled masses, don't.

      That's all this is. Nothing to see here. Move along.

      • This only applies to the big boys who want to receive press credentials. This does not apply to some fan blogging from the stands.
        • by dgatwood (11270)

          By "Big Boys", I mean traditional media outlets---TV, radio... you know, the ones that actually pay big dollars for the right to cover the games live....

    • Follow the money (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The inclination to control what people do with the information at their disposal usually boils down to the elimination of information outlets which do not ultimately put money in the pockets of those who are trying to control said information.

      I am not familiar with this particular money trail, but I would speculate that there exist some specific, approved websites which give to-the-minute updates of the game's progress. They would be popularly known by sports fans.

      And they would have ad banners.

      If the fans
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by fallen1 (230220)
      This move just reeks of idiocy.

      No, this move just reeks of GREED. Almost every time someone, especially a corporate or commercial interest, attempts to limit the freedom of information about them then you should start sniffing for dollars because they are doing so in an attempt to keep the money themselves. Greed is going to be the downfall of many old-school, established businesses and/or their processes even though it may take a while. Just look at the RIAA and MPAA for examples - unless they can someho

      • by Blakey Rat (99501)
        As the Americans learned so painfully in Earth's final century, free flow of information is the only safeguard against tyranny. The once-chained people whose leaders at last lose their grip on information flow will soon burst with freedom and vitality, but the free nation gradually constricting its grip on public discourse has begun its rapid slide into despotism. Beware of he who would deny you access to information, for in his heart he dreams himself your master. -- Commissioner Pravin Lal, "U.N. Declarat
  • by FatAlb3rt (533682) on Thursday December 20, 2007 @03:46PM (#21768888) Homepage
    This coming from the group that put Florida State on notice [msn.com] for appearance in bowl games because of its mascot but made no mention of Notre Dame's? Somehow I'm not surprised.
  • Apropos poem (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Smidge204 (605297) on Thursday December 20, 2007 @03:46PM (#21768900) Journal
    I met a traveller from an antique land
    Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
    Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
    Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown
    And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
    Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
    Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
    The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
    And on the pedestal these words appear:
    "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
    Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!"
    Nothing beside remains: round the decay
    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
    The lone and level sands stretch far away.


    ~Percy Bysshe Shelley

    =Smidge=
  • To make sure, the torture of cheerleaders is not uncovered. Or something...

  • by gelfling (6534) on Thursday December 20, 2007 @03:50PM (#21768962) Homepage Journal
    Because we shouldn't delude ourselves that NCAA isn't a professional sports league.
  • The NCAA has proven once again that there DOES exist an organization that is more idiotic, closed minded, and out of touch with reality than either the MPAA or RIAA could hope to be. Bravo.
  • by rebmemeR (1056120)
    I can watch the game on TV at home or listen on the radio and blog it from home. Does my physically attending the game really help me do a better job of that? Can the NCAA eject me from my house?
  • by drooling-dog (189103) on Thursday December 20, 2007 @03:53PM (#21769002)
    ...why educational institutions ought to be in the business of quasi-professional sports in the first place. The tail has been wagging the dog for a long time now, and it's getting worse every year.
    • by garcia (6573)
      ...why educational institutions ought to be in the business of quasi-professional sports in the first place. The tail has been wagging the dog for a long time now, and it's getting worse every year.

      Why? Because it makes money -- lots of money to fund all those things that geeks like such as research and scholarships.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by drooling-dog (189103)

        Why? Because it makes money -- lots of money to fund all those things that geeks like such as research and scholarships.

        Well, I'm not sure how much revenue generated by athletics goes into "research and scholarships" (other than athletic scholarships, that is). But...

        I can go to the other pole as well: Why pretend that college athletics is some kind of overgrown extracurricular activity? If it has to be such a big deal on campus, let's acknowledge it for what it is (and I am not being facetious):

        (1) If students can major in things like music, dance, and art, why not let athletes major in football, basketball, or whatever? S

    • by QuasiEvil (74356) on Thursday December 20, 2007 @04:43PM (#21769814)
      Agreed - as someone who watched countless *academic* activities suffer every time the various sports programs needed money at my alma matter (despite the countless zillions their rights licensing brought in), I've always thought it was a complete travesty to everything higher education is about. Sports scholarships should be eliminated, and these jocks (at least the ones that are only there to play ball, and not really educate themselves) should go where they belong - minor league teams (which, I might add, the NFL could really use some sort of development league, much like minor league baseball and basketball teams produce players for MLB and the NBA).

      I'm probably the only person who actively cheers for whatever team is opposing my old university, just out of sheer hatred for the football program. Yeah, I've got anger issues.
  • by Enlarged to Show Tex (911413) on Thursday December 20, 2007 @03:53PM (#21769020)
    Basically, the NCAA is acting like the MPAA in an attempt to limit access to try to restrict the transmission of information with respect to its events, with an onward eye toward selling exclusive access rights to the highest bidder in the MSM.

    Hardly surprising from Myles Brand, the guy who made his claim to fame as the guy who fired Bobby Knight at Indiana...as many would say: "Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely."
  • by davmoo (63521) on Thursday December 20, 2007 @03:55PM (#21769048)
    If its a private school, that's one thing. But if I'm at a game involving my local public university, which is supported by my tax dollars, I'm not going to bother getting press credentials, and I'll blog about any damned thing I want during their game. And I'll do it as often as I want. Fuck the NCAA. If they want to restrict my commenting on their sports, then their team's schools do not need my supporting tax dollars. My tax dollars, then its my property too. Period. No exceptions.

    (And yes, I feel the same way about a university's research. If that research was paid for by a company, they can control it how ever they like. But if that research was paid for by my tax dollars, then they can take their patent application and shove it up their collective ass.)
    • by stewbacca (1033764) on Thursday December 20, 2007 @04:04PM (#21769186)

      I'm not going to bother getting press credentials, and I'll blog about any damned thing I want during their game. And I'll do it as often as I want. Fuck the NCAA.
      Maybe I misread the article, but you are free to do exactly what you describe, since you don't have press credentials. No fucking of the NCAA is required. If it were the other way around there'd be a problem (i.e., prohibiting non-credentialed people from phoning/blogging in scores).
    • And yes, I feel the same way about a university's research. If that research was paid for by a company, they can control it how ever they like. But if that research was paid for by my tax dollars, then they can take their patent application and shove it up their collective ass.

      Unless they're getting the patent so some corporate entity doesn't patent their idea and make money off of their work. And lock them out of further research.

      There are defensive patents, you know.

    • It flies in the face of reality, but the NCAA has been held repeatedly to be a non-governmental actor. Meaning that the Bill of Rights does not apply to it.

      This, in spite of the fact that most of the member schools are public universities.
  • For some reason it's the "live", in-person blogging that they don't want. I'm not sure what the issue is here. Is it because many NCAA events are not broadcast, but a "blog" is a "live", or pseudo-live transcript of the event that is not otherwise being seen live? huh? What did I just say?

    I don't get the reason behind this...
  • "Credentialed" (Score:3, Interesting)

    by stewbacca (1033764) on Thursday December 20, 2007 @04:01PM (#21769144)
    This covers only credentialed reporters, which makes this a non-issue. Want credentials? Play by their rules. I guess it could breed a new type of papparazzi...the Uncredentialed Sports Blogger.
  • Not surprising (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ubrgeek (679399) on Thursday December 20, 2007 @04:02PM (#21769162)
    When I was at jacksonville.com (the Florida Times-Union Website) the Jaguars had just come into being. Obviously the local paper was going to cover them. Two issues came up: As part of our server farm, we named our servers, "entertainment.jacksonville.com," "lifestyle.jacksonville.com," "business.jacksonville.com," etc. Because we knew the Jags site would be so popular, we didn't put it on sports.jacksonville.com. Instead it went on jaguars.jacksonville.com. The Jags and the NFL threw a fit, claiming that we were doing it in an effort to capitalize on the names (nevermind that we had server logs from more than a year prior showing our naming convention.) For the outcome, go to http://jaguars.jacksonville.com/ [jacksonville.com] ... It's still being used 10 years later.

    The second was they were having a fit because we were shooting pictures of the game and posting them to the site. Not in real-time. After the game. As part of our coverage. Our publisher agreed to stop doing so ... in exchange, the paper wouldn't write any articles about the team.

    So there we were, two days later, posting pictures to the site ... ;)
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by tkrotchko (124118) *
      Considering how the jaguars have played most of the time, you were doing your readership a favor not covering them ;)
  • very misleading (Score:3, Insightful)

    by snarkh (118018) on Thursday December 20, 2007 @04:06PM (#21769238)
    From the FA:

    Now, before anyone goes screaming censorship or free speech or anything along those lines -- these are the rules that the NCAA is setting for credentialed reporters. And, as a private organization, the NCAA can set whatever rules it wants for handing out credentials, no matter how mind-numbingly stupid they may be.


    • Misleading enough that, so far, 90% of the /. comments missed that whole part.
    • by geekoid (135745)
      So? People also have the right to scream about censorship;which this is. That's not to say they are outside there rights to censor, but lets call it what it is.

      Guess how rules get change? people complain about them.

      • by snarkh (118018)
        The title of the article is NCAA Puts Severe Limits On Sport Event Blogging.
        That is misleading as the limits are only for accredited reporters and not for bloggers in general.
        I have nothing against complaining, but it should not be ignorant complaining.
  • by deweycheetham (1124655) on Thursday December 20, 2007 @04:12PM (#21769332)
    Welcome to the world of the Fighting Illini at the University of Illinois.

    The NCAA has outlawed any pictures or representations of our Mascot. Take a look and you can see why (if you can't, your in sensitive clod).

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e/e6/Illinilogo.png [wikimedia.org]

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/a/a2/2006-11-11_-_Chief_Illiniwek.jpg/200px-2006-11-11_-_Chief_Illiniwek.jpg [wikimedia.org]
  • by fermion (181285) on Thursday December 20, 2007 @04:15PM (#21769370) Homepage Journal
    One issue that has come up is the issue of whether the kids playing should have the protection we usually give kids, or if they should be treated like the pro players, or somewhere in between. On thing that is clear is that many NCAA players do receive some kind of compensation in excess of room, board, and classes normally awarded the top scholar, though likely not near the compensation of a pro player. Rules such as these also makes it clear that the NCAA itself behaves more like a pro sports organization than an amateur venue. On cannot, for instance, imagine an amateur musician, actor, athlete, or other entertainer limiting the press coverage of their act. The only people who wish to limit such coverage are those pro organization who need to monetize every score, stat, call, play, and image to generate the profits needed to support a pro organization.

    This is why I think the distinction is important. If the NCAA is an amateur organization, then we can forgive the situation when some of the member athletes do something stupid, like hire a stripper and serve beer to underage players, then do not have the maturity to excise themselves in a graceful way. But if they are not amateurs, of if NCAA wants to have the privileges affords pro sports, then they must also take on some of the responsibilities. Which means no one can call fowl when the players, even though they are kids, and have their names plastered across all the papers everytime they do something stupid. One cool thing about college is that one can get away with stuff one could never get away with on the outside. The side thing is that kids are accepting these high levels of responsibility without even thinking of the freedoms they are giving up.

    • Um, not to rain on your parade, but none of the players are kids in the legal sense, so giving them protections due to minors wouldn't make much sense.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by TheMidnight (1055796)
        If college students aren't kids, then why did I encounter the following as an undergraduate?

        1. Limits on who I could have in my room and what time.
        2. A letter I had to write to my PARENTS if caught underage with alcohol (I never was, but it was a rule)
        3. Resident assistants who could basically boss you around as they see fit at the threat of being kicked out of the dorm.
        4. Curfews when someone in the dorm broke a rule.
        5. Mandatory floor meetings (again, gets you kicked out if you don't go)

        I unders
  • by Adambomb (118938) on Thursday December 20, 2007 @04:16PM (#21769396) Journal
    Calvin certainly said it best.

    Verbing weirds language.
    • by AlpineR (32307)
      What verbing are you complaining about? Blogging?

      Blog is a portmanteau of web log. Log is a perfectly cromulent verb: enter in the log of a ship or another systematic record. So if log can be a verb, it takes only an iota of imagination to verb blog too.
      • by KlomDark (6370)
        BLOG is one of those words just like FOSS. Totally lame-sounding, had to have been made up by a dumbass. Sick of hearing either term. Say Open Source, or say Web Log. Don't mushmouth them together.
  • "You would think that the NCAA would be thrilled to have reporters live blogging events in order to generate more interest and keep passionate fans talking about NCAA sports."

    If they really wanted to keep fans passionate about NCAA football, they'd institute a playoff system in Division I. Every other division manages to have a playoff during exams, and the basketball players seem to do just fine throughout all of spring mid-terms while on on the road 4-5 days a week for a month. No, it's about money - not
  • Why do you need NCAA anyway? And why specifically do you need to play or watch games they are associated with? Do they have a copyright on baseball or whatever? No. So, you can play your own baseball and ignore their games whenever this is practical and possible.

    Bloggers who write about NCAA games would do a much more useful service to their favourite sports if they mobilised people to play alternative games outside the jurisdiction of NCAA.

    Software users do the same with free software. Music listener

  • >Men's Water Polo: Three per quarter; one at the halftime (From TF NCAA A)

    Given that university water polo quarters are seven minutes, this doesn't seem too draconian. I wonder how many people are live blogging Div II water polo. You're lucky to get 50 at Cal-0Stanford with the Pac 10 on the line. You would think they'd be glad of a little publicity.

  • It's hurting your most passionate fans for no good reason whatsoever.

    What makes the world go round? The NCAA makes money from television and marketing rights. If people stop tuning in to watch games live because they can get up-to-the-minute reports online, then the NCAA loses money.

    • by jgoemat (565882)
      And we're talking about $508 MILLION [ncaa.org] per year for television and marketing rights. That might not be a good reason for you, me, or the public, but it's a darn good reason for their bottom line...
  • Kind of weird that it applies to all sports at all levels. Although I guess you don't really need a press credential to get into a DIII swim meet between Claremont-Mudd-Scripps and CalTech.

    Just seems kind of silly to apply the rules to events that do not get live press coverage anyways where perhaps having live bloggers might generate additional interest, and be good for those schools to get good more interest from good students.
  • So, buy a ticket, sit in the stands, and blog away on your wireless card. Taunt the NCAA on every post, and dare them to find and eject you.

    Frankly, the NCAA are a bunch of arseholes, who really outted themselves on this when they took their stand against college mascots who offend ANYONE!

  • ... what the hell is an NCAA?
  • You would think that the NCAA would be thrilled to have reporters live blogging events in order to generate more interest and keep passionate fans talking about NCAA sports.

    If I lived in a biologically sealed bubble environment in a steel and concrete bunker deep in a cave for most of my life, maybe I'd think that upon emerging. Although I'd probably be more likely to say, "Argh! The light! It buuuurrrrnnnns!" before wondering what lawyers were, and why they rape everything they can find in the butt.

When the weight of the paperwork equals the weight of the plane, the plane will fly. -- Donald Douglas

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