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NCAA credentialing

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by SoCalDude, Mar 21, 2008.

  1. SoCalDude

    SoCalDude Active Member

    Two of the teams we cover played in the same place Thursday night. We sent a photog halfway across the country. He was on a credential from one of the schools.
    The NCAA said he couldn't shoot the other game because he wasn't credentialed for that school.
    So, we have a photog there and have to use wire art on one of the games.
    Anybody else hear of anything like that?
  2. dragonfly

    dragonfly Member

    no. that's ridiculous. but it's the NCAA...
  3. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    Go to the SID and get him added to the list.
  4. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    I put in credential requests for myself and my photog for the local women's team. I got a writer's credential, but my photog was denied.

    At the men's games, my paper can only shoot the non-conference games. I can't have a photog at the Major Hoops Conference games. During the regular season, I can have my photog at any women's home game, including the Major Hoops Conference ones.

    Then again, my paper's a weekly and weeklies are down on the totem pole in the priority list. I'll have to use file art...
  5. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    This isn't surprising. At the conference tournament I covered last week, I was told that I needed to have clearance to attend each of the sessions or otherwise I wouldn't be allowed access.

    The result? Don't leave the building and there's no way for them to check. By the final day of the tournament, nobody was in their correct seat and few people cared. It was a mess we brought upon ourselves, but when the NCAA is naive enough to think that people who are working one semifinal game aren't going to come out for the last 10 minutes of the second, that's what ensues.
  6. Hustle

    Hustle Guest

    Here's my own story, and my apologies for the length.

    As you know, I work at a small daily. We've covered George Mason all season: every home game, perhaps a road game or two, off-day features, their CAA tournament run, nearly the whole deal. We did not cover their NCAA tournament game because it was three-quarters of the way across the country; we would have gone to anything remotely close - DC certainly, Raleigh probably, perhaps even Birmingham or Tampa.

    In the meantime, I applied for credentials for the first and second round at Verizon Center. Georgetown is the host school there; we have not and do not cover Georgetown in any capacity. We were turned down. I felt this was in error, since - after careful reading of the criteria - I felt we qualified on multiple counts, so I e-mailed the contact person.

    He said he turned us down because he had not ever seen us at a Georgetown game. Unfortunately, the NCAA's online credential process gave us no place to indicate to him that we in fact did cover basketball, just not Georgetown basketball - which, by my reading, was perfectly acceptable.

    In order, these are the criteria listed by the NCAA:

    "1. A daily agency with circulation greater than 60,000, a weekly with circulation greater than 500,000 or a monthly with circulation greater than 750,000 will be identified as 'national media' and will qualify for credentials."

    This is not us. Our circulation is well short of that.

    "2. An agency that does not meet Criteria No. 1 qualifies for credentials if a full-time staff member has covered at least 90 percent of the participating institution’s regular-season home games and each of its games in the NCAA championship. (Covering all of the institution’s competition in a different NCAA championship fulfills the latter requirement.) Such an agency can receive one more than the number of credentials it used for a majority of the institution’s home games."

    Here's where my confusion came in. 'Participating institution' is kind of vague; does that mean host school (i.e., Georgetown)? Does it mean George Mason, which qualified for the tournament? Or does it mean Duke, West Virginia, Arizona etc. - the teams that actually played in D.C.? I eliminated the third reason because I was working off the forms that dealt with credentials for a certain site, regardless of who was playing. A school's beat writers get their credentials through that school.

    The first two options are essentially the same. Georgetown was also a participating institution but obviously wasn't at the same site it was hosting.

    Please, someone correct me if I'm wrong. Regardless, I thought we qualified on the third criteria.

    "3. A daily newspaper that is located in the market of a host institution but does not meet Criteria No. 1 qualifies for credentials if it covers college basketball on a daily basis (i.e., full-time staff members cover games several nights each week.)"

    We are clearly in the DC market; that's the simple part. Do we cover several games several nights each week? No, but the one school we cover doesn't play several nights a week. They played twice a week; we covered usually once, maybe twice a week all season. If that's a way to weed out the little guys, so be it.

    I made all of this clear in my first e-mail to the contact at Georgetown (his first reply was when he said why he denied us). In a follow-up e-mail, he said he would revisit the situation. A third e-mail from him, which I received on Wednesday, asked me to get in touch with him on Friday and he would try to squeeze me in for Saturday games.

    I did as he asked; no dice. I could go if I wanted, but he wouldn't be able to get me a seat in the courtside press area - which kind of defeats the purpose of the whole thing. Too much media already, he said.

    So my day off was cancelled and here I am in the office. I had planned to be working tomorrow, but I guess I'll be lounging around the house instead.
  7. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    Hmm... that's unfortunate Hustle.

    I suppose I'm fortunate that I got credentials for the games I'm covering since I didn't cover 90 percent of the team's home games. Then again, when the SID was handing out the information sheet about credential apps, it looked like she made it a point to bring one of them to me at one game.
  8. SixToe

    SixToe Active Member

    Not trying to threadjack and apologies for the intrusion, but what does the NCAA do about credentialing for bloggers?

    Yes? No? Depends on the situation?
  9. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    I would think the host institution would have some say about that. Like I said, I didn't cover 90 percent of the team's games, but I got a credential to cover the Tournament.

    If it were solely up to the NCAA, I'd probably have been denied.
  10. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    What a clusterfuck. That makes the MLB credential process sound sane.

    I didn't think it was possible, but the NCAA is even less prepared for the death of newspapers and the subsequent alternative media revoultion than MLB is.
  11. BigRed

    BigRed Active Member

    Covering an NCAA Tournament is like filing from a concentration camp - with better food (although only slightly).
    Here's my beef.
    I was pretty excited about covering my first NCAA Tournament in three years. But the people here in Tampa have no f'ing idea how to run a tournament.
    It started when we pulled up yesterday for the practice day. We had no parking pass and even though I'd applied online for him, my photographer had no credential. He had to wait almost 2 hours to get one.
    Once we got inside, we found out that wireless was $16.50 per day. $16.50!! The NCAA gets $545 million per year from CBS and they have the onions to charge for wireless. Topping it off, my computer - which runs Windows Vista - wouldn't accept the wireless network, and it took the techs an hour to get my laptop online.
    The NCAA makes you put your drinks in blue cups, address the "student-athletes" one at a time instead of asking group questions, won't let you ask a coach a question before the players are released, and - how can I forget - makes you sign an agreement about blogging and makes you put their logo on your blog with a link to their site.
    In other words, suck it, NCAA.
    They're damn lucky I saw a great finish like WKU-Drake today or else I'd be homicidal right now.
  12. SoCalDude

    SoCalDude Active Member

    I heard about the NCAA's Wireless fee, $9.95 when ordering credentials or $16.95 day of game. The arena here, we already pay a wireless fee, we cover every event here, we are a signage partner. But we had to pay it again to cover this event.
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