The U.S. Basketball Writers Association (USBWA) and the
Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) support the
proposal by the Southeastern Conference which would preserve 208-page
printed media guides for football and basketball and eliminate recruiting
material and the guides being given to recruits, their parents or
The two organizations believe there still is a strong need for
printed guides in football and basketball after polling membership.
The main reasons cited by members were the difficulty of accessing
needed information on-line and the inconsistencies with which it
is presented by schools, even within the same conference. There
also is a fear of Internet failures at events – such as last spring's
Final Four in Detroit – which prevent the access of needed information.
Besides support for the SEC proposal, the two organizations also
make several other observations regarding the media guide issue,
knowing that the SEC proposal merely offers schools the opportunity
to continue to print guides in those sports and allows recruiting
information to be e-mailed to recruits. Several schools and conferences
already have decided to cease printing media guides before legislation
to do away with them has even been passed.
• Media guides/areas should be just that. If the SEC proposal
is adopted, this would occur in printed media guides, but still
leaves open the possibility on-line media areas will be compromised
with recruiting and fan information and solicitations (tickets,
t-shirts, novelties etc.) On-line media areas also should be devoid
of solicitations and interactive content which prolong quick access
• Conferences and schools should make their web sites easier
to navigate. We urge individual conferences to adopt standards and
consistency in regards to style and presentation.
• All major football and basketball conferences should look at
the suggested elements for media information which have been provided
by the FWAA and USBWA, either for printed media guides or their