Because the NCAA has enough market penetration for its College Baseball World Series (cough, sarcasm), the governing body deemed it wise to revoke a Louisville Courier-Journal sports reporter from the press box, because he was, wait for it, live-blogging.
A Courier-Journal sports reporter had his media credential revoked and was ordered to leave the press box during the NCAA baseball super-regional yesterday because of what the NCAA alleged was a violation of its policies prohibiting live Internet updates from its championship events.
Here's what the evicted Brian Bennett had to say:
I doubt this is the end of the story. It will be interesting to see if the NCAA can enforce such a policy. What strikes me as really strange is that someone watching ESPN across the street could have blogged every single pitch without a problem. Also, I seriously doubt anyone was reading my blog instead of watching ESPN. I believe my blog served those readers who for some reason or another couldn't be at the game or get access to a TV (I know this because quite a few emailed me to say just that, and to thank me for my efforts). We got more than 10,000 hits on my blog from the Columbia Regional final last Monday. And college baseball, especially in this area, could use all the publicity it can get.
Obviously, the reason behind the ejection was the NCAA's TV broadcast partnership with ESPN. This could be a goodwill coup for ESPN, if it changed the language in its contract. We'll see if that happens.
Gene McArtor, a representative of the NCAA baseball committee, who reportedly approached Bennett at the game, declined to comment in a follow-up Courier-Journal piece.
After the jump, some thoughts around the sports blogosphere:
Dan Shanoff: Meanwhile, for the NCAA, why would you try to tamp down on something that is promoting your product? So: It's OK for reporters to cover the game in the newspaper the next day, but not OK for the game to be covered online in real time? Apparently.
Deadspin: CSTV -- one of the two national media outlets that actually cares about the College World Series -- had been planning on live-blogging every CWS game. They can't now. This is an outstanding decision by the NCAA, because it denies coverage of a signature event to a fanbase that might want to read it.
The Double-A Zone (actually affiliated with the NCAA): I find all of this quite unnecessary. The world of media has changed and I think this policy makes my organization look arcane because journalists now publish their thoughts in real time on the Internet. I don’t know anybody in their right mind who would choose in-game commentary on a blog over a television broadcast, so I don’t see how there’s competition between our partners and independent bloggers who have received credentials.