Be Careful Student Sports Reporters, Your School May Have an In-Game Tweet Limit

Journalists are currently abuzz about the University of Washington men’s basketball team– not for its play but for how it’s allowed to be covered.

Athletics officials at the school recently told a local sports reporter to stop live-tweeting so much during an early season game.  The weird warning revealed a new official rule instituted for all live coverage of UW games by outside press– 20 tweets tops at basketball games and no more than 45 tweets during football games.

Hmm.  The restriction, known formally as a “live coverage policy,” is apparently similar to those being enacted or considered by other sports programs at colleges and universities nationwide.  On spec, it seems to be an attempt to have more netizens check out the school’s own live online coverage.

It is also undoubtedly a larger push to control as much of the in-the-moment media coverage of its teams as possible, in exchange for reporter access to the fun and games.  As former sports reporter Brian Moritz confirms, “Yes, every reporter who gets a press credential signs a release that includes the rules. No, none of them ever read it. Seriously, when’s the last time you read the terms and conditions when you update iTunes?”

It is the latest sports reporting body blow at the college level brought to light this semester, including increasing limits on reporting on team practices and student-athlete injuries.  Heck, University of Kansas head football coach Charlie Weis does not believe the KU student newspaper should provide any negative coverage of his dismal gridiron squad at all.

So, big question of the day: Does your school have a social media policy for live sports coverage?  And bigger question: What other limits, if any, do sports reporters at your news outlet face, especially when covering your school’s A-list players and teams?

4 Responses to “Be Careful Student Sports Reporters, Your School May Have an In-Game Tweet Limit”
  1. I guess the one nice thing about being in Canada is that schools beg for coverage.

  2. Dan says:

    Ha, my guess is that this must also be the case at many smaller schools stateside as well.

  3. asmishler says:

    Ball State does not have a policy, but hearing this along with the limits on reporting injuries scares me. It seems like college athletics are trending toward demanding more and more control, holding reporters hostage with their credentials. What’s next? Things are only getting worse.

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] several high-profile student newspapers; the rise in student press digital-first reinventions; and the increasing limitations being placed on student and professional journalists covering major college […]