The NCAA’s about to find out if it overstepped its bounds in banning any reporters from live blogging from the NCAA Super Regionals. The Louisville Courier-Journal beat writer Brian Bennett was ejected from the press box during the fifth inning of Louisville’s Omaha-clinching 20-2 win over Oklahoma State on Sunday.
Aaron Fitt has already reported on this before the Super Regionals began, pointing out that the NCAA is saying that any reporting during the game on the Internet violates the NCAA’s television contract with ESPN and CBS. But the C-J’s attorney seems ready to fight this one, pointing out that when someone hits a home run or strikes out that’s a fact, something that cannot be kept from being reported. That’s something that courts have continually affirmed. And as Bennett points out on his blog, someone sitting at home can blog away without any problems. It’s just reporters in the press box who are banned by the NCAA’s decision.
Tip of the hat to AOL Fanhouse for the link.
UPDATE: The Courier-Journal reports in Monday’s edition that Louisville administrators were concerned about jeopardizing any future opportunities to host future NCAA events if they did not eject the newspaper’s blogger. From Rick Bozich’s column:
During the middle of yesterday’s game, Courier-Journal representatives were told by two members of the U.of.L athletic staff that if the school did not revoke Bennett’s credential it would jeopardize the school’s chances of hosting another NCAA baseball event.
“If that’s true, that’s nothing short of extortion and thuggery,” (Courier-Journal executive editor Bennie L.) Ivory said. “We will be talking to our attorneys (today) to see where we go from here.”