There was no post on the now infamous Brian Bennett story yesterday because I didn't feel like commenting on something that I feared was going to overshadow the Cardinal baseball team's miraculous run to Omaha.
It has, and so now I will...very briefly.
I read about a number of aspects key to this story yesterday that I expected I might see: The First Amendment, what is "live media," adhering to the rules, the guidelines of the original credentials, what's to stop folks from live blogging from their couches, the role of ESPN, why is this rule just starting to be enforced now, is the NCAA the least competent organization in the history of the world.
But there was one variable I didn't see written about that warrants mention: sloth.
Resistance to change is as inherit a trait in human beings as breathing and tails.
Eighty years ago the powers that be were saying that broadcasting games live on the radio would ruin baseball, two decades later they said the same thing about television, now it's the internet.
But I don't think that the NCAA really "fears" blogging the way some people do, rather I think that they, like much of the rest of the Western World, are still extremely unsure of how to approach this "New Media" so they're hoping someone else will figure it out for them.
The New Media is here to stay, and the issue of how organizations like the NCAA choose to handle this fact is going to be resolved eventually. For now, having a rule in place that restricts live blogging from the press box is the easiest way to avoid having to deal with the issue of whether or not to credential someone who is going to partake in a brand of journalism which is still in ethical limbo.
In First Amendment classes across the country, professors have been telling their students for the last five or six years that a major case over how to police the internet is coming. Whether or not this ends up being that case I don't know, but it'd be nice if someone would pull the bed sheets off the collective heads of the NCAA.
Of course this is an issue with angles that reach far beyond just laziness and avoidance, a fact made clear by the amazing number of pieces written on the subject yesterday.
Here are a few worthy of a read: