By Michelle Hosick
NCAA officials met Monday with representatives of several conference and institutional broadcast networks to learn more about the evolution of the networks and changing technologies, particularly as they relate to the broadcast of youth sports programming on such networks.
Peg Bradley-Doppes, vice chancellor of athletics and recreation, University of Denver
Philip Bartz, partner, Bryan Cave LLP
Dave Brown, general manager, Longhorn Network ESPN
Dan Butterly, associate commissioner, marketing, Mountain West Conference
Kim Carver, representative, Mountain West Sports Network
Eugene Daniels, vice-chair, Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Colorado State University
Chuck Gerber, media consultant, Chucklin, Inc.
Chad Hawley, associate commissioner, Big Ten Conference
Carolayne Henry, associate commissioner/senior woman administrator, Mountain West Conference
Matt Hong, senior vice president and general manager sports operations, Turner Sports
Burke Magnus, senior vice president college sports programming, ESPN
Derek Marquis, managing director, BYU broadcasting
Clyde McCoy, faculty athletics representative, University of Miami (Florida)
Patricia Ohlendorf, vice president for legal affairs/general counsel, University of Texas at Austin
Kevin O’Malley, media consultant
Chris Plonsky, women’s athletics director/senior associate athletics director, external services, University of Texas at Austin
Ellis “Skip” Prince, media consultant, University of Texas at Austin
Steve Sandberg, associate university counsel, Brigham Young
Chuck Schmidt, chief operating officer, Arizona Interscholastic Association, Inc.
Mark Silverman, president, Big Ten Network
Julian Tackett, commissioner, Kentucky High School Athletic Association
Jim Tenopir, chief operating officer, National Federation of State High School Associations
Kevin Weiberg, deputy commissioner/chief operating officer, Pac-12 Conference
Jamie Zaninovich, commissioner, West Coast Conference
Kevin Lennon, NCAA vice president for academic and membership affairs, said the session met its goals.
“This is the start of an educational process that will lead to a final policy decision on this issue by the presidents,” Lennon said. “We want them to make the best possible decision based on data. We are approaching this from a broad policy perspective. We began the conversation today, and we will go back out to the membership to continue it.”
The group, which included Burke Magnus, senior vice president of college sports programming at ESPN, discussed the fan appetite for such programming and advent of technology that lowered production costs enough to make broadcast of such youth events possible and even desirable.
“This was a really valuable and critically important conversation about a very complex set of issues,” Magnus said. “We appreciate very much being included, and offer our continued participation as these issues evolve.”
Staff also shared with the network representatives the NCAA bylaws that led to the Board of Directors-sanctioned interpretation earlier this month that precludes institution- or conference-branded networks from broadcasting programming involving prospects, including highlights. The interpretation was adopted because of several NCAA regulations and principles that govern both recruiting and fundraising. The NCAA will continue to review the issue.
The meeting was the first step in what is anticipated will be a six- to nine-month process of examination. Feedback from various other constituencies, including the Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and the Leadership Council, will be considered, and staff is likely to develop a white paper.
Any decisions on the future of youth sports programming on institution- or conference-branded network will be made by the presidents who sit on the Board of Directors.