NCAA researching youth sports
Meeting begins six- to nine-month examinaton period
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.
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 Division I Board of Directors-sanctioned interpretation earlier this month that precludes institution- or conference-branded networks from broadcasting programming involving prospects. The interpretation was adopted because of several NCAA regulations and principles that govern both recruiting and fundraising.
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