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Publish date: Aug 22, 2011

NCAA hosts discussion about youth-sport telecasts

By Michelle Hosick
NCAA.org

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. 

Attendees

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.