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« Marcus Green fund | Main | Dear John »

Jun 13, 2007

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Jeffrey Sykes

from Jeffrey Sykes
to mbrand@ncaa.org
date Jun 13, 2007 11:33 AM
subject Live-blogging rule is bad policy
mailed-by gmail.com
Dr. Brand:

I highly respect you and have thought much of your efforts to emphasize the importance of the well-rounded student-athlete during your tenure as president. As a major sports fan, I have long admired athletes, coaches and administrators from countless NCAA-affiliated teams and colleges in the last 30 plus years. I believe that intercollegiate athletics is one of the best parts of life in this country.

Recently I heard that the NCAA has a policy that prevents a journalist in the print media from posting updates about events he is covering. This is a bad policy, in my opinion, for several reasons, which I will address briefly and in plain language.

1. These are our children and other relatives performing between the lines. They are, by and large, part of public institutions paid for by tax dollars. The athletes do not belong to the NCAA or the school. For the NCAA to treat their efforts like a corporate commodity to be restricted is in poor taste, given that many corporate interests are already profiting from the student athletes efforts between the lines. Journalists are the people's eyes and ears. They inform us, entertain us and guard us against corruption. The symbiosis of a journalist and a sporting event is as natural as leather and hard-wood or pigskin and grass. One goes with the other.

2. The term "blog" is not fully understood in at-large society. It comes from the phrase "web log", but in essence is nothing more than a tool to facilitate immediate publishing of various media on the Internet.

3. I believe the restriction of a journalist from print media vis a vis broadcasting is an unfair practice. Internet publishing is a major part of print media these days. For the NCAA to restrict a print media journalist in this fashion is, in my opinion, an abridgement of the First Amendment.

This rule is not the type of rule we need in a democracy. Restriction of any form of media by the NCAA is not something I believe your organization should be involved with.

Please see that this rule is rescinded as soon as possible.

Thank you.

--
Jeffrey Sykes

Reidsville, NC 27320

jeffreyhsykes@gmail.com

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