The ‘Ville Voice was featured in a USAToday Web column Friday for its blog of the Louisville-Rice game from the College World Series. The V.V. was apparently the only media outlet blogging the game live (from my living room) on Friday, as the Courier-Journal chose to follow the NCAA rules and bypass the opportunity. The USAToday mention fueled one of the V.V.’s biggest traffic days in history.
I wasn’t available on Sunday for Louisville’s impressive 12-4 win over Mississippi State. But I think doing the game Friday proved my point, which is this — the NCAA is in for a whale of a battle if it plans to take on independent bloggers across the U.S. to protect its rights to “live representation” of games it sells rights to. It’s a lose-lose proposition for the organization, which will either have to come up with some new enforcement policy or prepare for a long-term battle against a difficult-to-determine enemy. It may be able to restrict newspapers, over which it holds the ability to withhold credentials, from blogging its events, but if it were to choose to sue independent bloggers, then things will get interesting.
I think the NCAA will continue to enforce its anti-blogging rules in press boxes, and until someone starts making real money blogging games independently (highly unlikely) it’s a dead issue. I do wish the C-J hadn’t backed down so easily after its blogger was ejected from the Patterson Stadium press box during the Oklahoma State game, but the local paper apparently decided it wasn’t up for the fight. It had an opportunity to engage the NCAA in an interesting legal argument, but didn’t.