It seems that the NCAA is now attempting to muzzle journalists from blogging about playoff games while the game is in progress....
Last week, at an NCAA super-regional baseball playoff game in Louisville, a reporter for the Louisville Courier-Journal was tossed from the press box because he was blogging the progress of the game for the paper's Web site viewers.
At the super-regional in Corvallis, reporters were told the same fate awaited them if the blogged the games between the Oregon State and Michigan. As the weekend progressed, the NCAA threatened to deny The Oregonian press credentials for the College World Series (which begins this weekend in Omaha) if the paper continued posting from our offices in downtown Portland during-the-game updates on OregonLive.com, the paper's affiliated Web site. The press credentials for Omaha (since granted) include provisions banning blogging during games there -- not only for the press, but anyone else.
In a nutshell: the sports org wants to deny onsite credentials to journalists whose colleagues are blogging about an event that's happening on live television.
Ain't that a kick in the cup. As Peter Bhatia states on the O's editors' blog:
But it is perplexing as to how a newspaper blogging half inning by half inning -- posting information that has been on live TV many minutes before -- somehow threatens the NCAA or ESPN's revenue stream. One could also argue that once broadcast the information is public.
Actually, "one" shouldn't even need to argue that last point, because an editor should be so busy laughing at such a ridiculous demand that there wouldn't be time for arguing. What's next? The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences banning reporters whose colleagues are liveblogging the Oscars broadcast? Surely the Oregonian would never trade access for such a ridiculous restriction -- right? Right???
In any case, Norm won't be doing inning-by-inning blogging from Omaha nor will we be posting updates during the game in the same way we did during the super-regional. Norm will will [sic] provide behind-the-scenes observations and keep readers posted on the Beavers as they strive to defend their College World Series title.
Smarter shorter: We caved. For access.
Come on. The Oregonian (or any media outlet) would laugh if the NCAA threatened to pull credentials if the paper reported on one of the many, many legal scrapes that athletes get into these days.
So why are they caving here -- and what will they do the next time some sports organization stamps its cleated little foot?