WARNING: This post falls firmly under the rubric of "rant". If you are looking for UK basketball analysis, please scroll down.
The NCAA has revoked the press credentials of a blogger for the Courier-Journal, who was apparently live-blogging a U of L vs. Oklahoma State baseball game.
The NCAA's reason for sending Brian Bennett packing is ostensibly the following:
What the NCAA is saying here is that because they "consider" blogs to be a "live" media, anyone who uses them to communicate event details during the game is violating their copyrights.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is a flagrant, obvious and absolutely brazen misinterpretation of copyright law, specifically what may be copyrighted and what may not. The instant after an event occurs, it passes from the realm of "live" to the realm of "fact". It would be the same thing as forbidding a patron to call a friend on his cell phone and update the score.
The idea that a blogger's observation of game events is equivalent to a radio or TV broadcast is beyond absurd, and would surely not survive a legal challenge. Jon Fleischaker, the Courier-Journal's attorney when it comes to First Amendment issues, has already spoken Rick Bozich this, and Bozich has written an article on the subject today:
The question is though, will there be a legal challenge? The NCAA had this to say to the Courier-Journal:
Why am I blogging about the trials of U of L in a baseball game, and what has this to do with the Kentucky Wildcats? Everything. The NCAA is engaging in an act of extortion and thuggery by threatening U of L's opportunity to host NCAA events over this "interpretation" of it's rights. In my opinion, the NCAA is wrong, both in it's interpretation of the law and its behavior in general in this case, and if this battle goes to court, I think the NCAA will lose -- HUGE.
Unfortunately, that is just the problem. The NCAA would then simply not allow U of L to host any events in retribution for a lawsuit exposing it's fraudulent interpretation of law. This is an outrage, and this could just as easily happen to us as to them.
By the way, congratulations to the Cardinals for advancing to the college world series. Too bad their bloggers won't be able to report on the games, thanks to the disgustingly byzantine and flagrant abuse by the NCAA of the authority granted it by it's member institutions.
Thanks to More Than Derby and SPORTSbyBROOKS for bringing this to our attention. You can find their take on the subject at the links above.
John Clay has his take on this story over at Sidelines. He also has some links to a few others who are reporting on the story.
Michael David Smith at the AOL Fanhouse blogs on this story.
The Knoxville News weighs in, making several of the same points as yours truly.
Eric McErlain of AOL Fanhouse has a different take, basically taking the position that the NCAA, as well as various professional leagues, have always had this restriction: