- CoSIDA: J.D. Campbell (Indiana), Bernie
Cafarelli, Matt Ensor (Arizona), Aaron Jordan (Alabama), Mike
Kern (Missouri Valley Conference), Kenny Klein (Louisville),
Diana Koval (South Carolina), Colin McDonough (Northwest Missouri
State), Will Roleson (Associate Executive Director, CoSIDA)
Mike Sheridan (Villanova), John Paquette (Big East Conference),
Chris Theisen (Kansas), Chuck Walsh (Florida State), Doug Vance
(Executive Director, CoSIDA)
- USBWA: Seth Davis (USBWA President), Luke
DeCock (Raleigh News & Observer), Malcolm Moran (Executive
Director, USBWA), Shannon Ryan (Chicago Tribune)
- NCAA: Rick Nixon (Associate Director Championships
and Alliances, Media Coordination), Dave Worlock (Director of
Media Coordination & Statistics), Erik Christianson (Managing
Director of Communications)
Goals & Objectives
Identify the challenges
involved from both the SID and media perspective related to the
pandemic impact on media operations and develop guidelines to address
them for the benefit of both schools and media outlets. The guidelines
below should be considered a list of possible solutions or best
practices for all aspects of media operations related to menís and
womenís college basketball representing all divisions and governing
In developing a basic premise
for the process, we should acknowledge at the start that guidelines
will also be driven in each individual situation by state/local/health/campus
or facility guidelines. Conference policies may also be a factor
in the process.
For anyone who has questions
or concerns as they prepare for the season ahead, all who participated
in this process are happy to make themselves available to answer
questions and offer guidance.
Schools may opt to provide single
game credentials only as a more feasible solution in determining
media attendance on a game-by-game basis. Regardless, with the seating
limitations enforced due to social distancing SIDs will develop
their own priority policies in terms of who is granted credentials.
SIDs are encouraged to consider a policy that includes reserving
a certain percentage of seats for visiting media or, in games of
major national interest, national media. Host SIDs should rely on
their counterparts to identify which visiting media are priority
for credentials. Itís strongly recommended that visiting SIDs provide
a priority list of their traveling media requesting credentials
to their counterparts at the host school at least seven days in
advance of the game. Schools are also encouraged to include their
student media in their priority credentialing allocation. Also,
the same access priority given to radio and TV should also be applied
to all media outlets. In addition, SIDs with big demands from their
local media should consider a rotating (moving to the next request
on your priority list) approach as a means of balance and fairness
in their credentialing policies. For those media not able to be
in attendance, all resources for coverage without a credential should
be communicated clearly such as links to game notes, live statistics,
television coverage, video virtual postgame interviews and pool
photography and video highlights, if applicable.
The USBWA recommends that any media representative that has gone
to the trouble and expense of attending a game despite the safety
concerns be rewarded if added opportunities for in-person interviews
With the reduction in media
seating and parking, it is recommended that media confirm attendance
by a designated day in advance of each game so if plans change SIDs
can move down the priority list and offer access to another media
The level of safety protocols
required for access to venues will vary by host school or organization.
Most likely, at a minimum, temperatures will be taken to be admitted
and masks will be required. Some schools will also require an on-line
health information form be filled out before admittance. Obviously,
schools should publish and promote their requirements throughout
the year. We recommend a policy that provides consistency across
the board in terms of access for print, television or other media
representatives. Also, consideration should be given for improved
parking for media if there are either no or a limited amount of
fans allowed to attend games.
Media Will Call
Any media picking up credentials
at will call should expect to adhere to everything fans deal with
(bag checks, etc.) and early arrival is recommended.
Media Access Hours
The possibility of schools
establishing specific hours of operation or access in the media
area may be an expectation for media coverage during the season.
The concept of an open press area two hours before tip-off and two
hours after is a minimum standard that has been suggested. Itís
strongly recommended that the post-game two-hour access window start
after the last media interview instead of after the end of the game.
Regardless, SIDs are encouraged to make sure media are fully aware
of the time restrictions in advance of games and be diligent in
their responsibility of offering needed support in overcoming the
challenges media representatives will encounter under these unusual
Media Work Room
The decision to offer the
typical media work room availability will vary with each school
and its policies. Where work rooms are available, social distancing
work space will be enforced. Food or beverages will likely not be
available in press rooms as in the past. For those schools restricting
working space to press row only, SIDs are reminded of the need to
provide adequate WiFi, power, security and that lighting be sufficient
to enhance the work environment appropriately. When feasible, media
coupons for food/beverage in arena concession stands or designated
concession stands exclusively for media would be advisable. Designated
restroom facilities for media (separate from fans) are encouraged.
Distance should be mandated at
the standard 6-foot minimum in all media work areas. As a result,
seating for press row will likely be reduced to one-third of its
normal capacity which means SIDs will be forced to establish a priority
policy for credentials. In addition, press rows will most likely
not be at floor level with the possible exceptions of space for
radio and TV crews. And, in those instances, limitations and social
distancing for broadcast crews may be applied. Masks will be required
at all times for those seated on press row or any designated media
area. In those instances where the arena has unused fan seating
available, SIDs should take full advantage of a possible opportunity
to expand media access and seating as long as itís consistent with
areas will most likely be moved back from floor level to the fan
seating area depending on venue policies. Regardless, photo credentials
will be scaled back and the concept of a photo pool service is recommended.
Schools may consider rotating their pool photographer among area
media outlets so all area media can have an opportunity for access.
The Associated Press or other national photo services requesting
credentials should be considered priority outlets. If feasible and
space permits, upper photo positions should be identified to accommodate
additional videographers or photographers if fans are in attendance,
or positions could be established within the stands if no fans are
present. In addition, it is recommended that schools allow remote
cameras (set up in advance) if photographers are not allowed on
Media should expect to find the
majority of game information through digital resources and that
will include halftime and post-game statistics. The one exception
will be updated rosters/flipcards.
It should be anticipated
that all post-game interviews with coaches and players will be provided
through a videoconferencing system for both home and visiting teams.
It is preferred to have separate space available for each team to
conduct its postgame interviews, equipped with sufficient lighting
and a hard-wired ethernet connection to assure a good quality videoconference.
Team locker rooms and adjacent hallways will likely not be accessible.
Host SIDs should accept responsibility for ensuring that visiting
SIDs have the same consistent access as the home team for Zoom or
an applicable videoconference systems. It is recommended that SIDs
work with media in attendance in providing requested student-athletes
for post-game interviews.
To create a more feasible and accommodating access availability,
conference SIDs should publish links to post-game videoconferencing
coach/player interviews of all teams in their conference.
Media Access/Interviews Between Games
should anticipate that all coach and student-athlete interview access
will most likely be done through videoconference systems (Zoom,
should be followed by all of those who have media responsibilities
at neutral site games or multi-team events. Additional guidelines
may be in place for all post-season tournaments.
A special thanks to representatives of CoSIDA and the USBWA
(listed above) who worked in collaboration in the development of