Tuesday, December 31, 2013

100% Reason to Remember the Name

While Louisiana legend ascribes colorful former LSU head coach Dale Brown with a version of it, P.T. Barnum is often credited with the famous line: "I don’t care what you say about me, just spell my name right."

On New Year's Eve Eve, the circus came calling in Brown's old home town of Baton Rouge, albeit on the northside at Southern University.  The Jaguars broke the NCAA record for best start in a Division I basketball game by holding hapless Champion Baptist College scoreless while racking up 44 unanswered.  It led to a 116-12 final score.

Last night, Southern and Champion made the ESPN ticker during bowl games.  Dominated a light evening of college basketball with the hysterical, er, historical note.

Oh the humanity.

At what price fame?  Fox Sports, ESPN, Bleacher Report, Sports Illustrated, et al, had their fun with this.  Southern got some better local pub -- considering a Google for the university also brings up some investigations into the law school today.  While many are making fun of Champion (lots of how can you be a Champion . . .) there is growing complaint about Southern, notably that they should not have taken advantage of a non-NCAA team or that the game and record are not legitimate.

No one starts out to have this result, but let's be honest -- everyone knows what is going on.  Southern played teams who wanted them for practice; why do we fault the Jags for same.  Let's not act like this is a product of the 21st century money-driven horror show of college sports.  This was going on with regularity in the 19th century.  Colleges played all-star teams, local high schools, business colleges, schools for the deaf, military bases, their own alumni.

Champion Baptist gets 7,000-plus notes in Google's news today, and they trended hard on Twitter last night.  SB Nation's Mid-Major Madness had a little perspective on both sides.  The Topsy score was 56, so to the plus side of sentiment.  Tweet of the day goes to Gary Parrish at CBS:  "You know what’s coming next season, right? Champion Baptist at Grinnell College. Book it."  Lost in the mix is at their own level, CBC was a national champion among other Christian private schools.

At the end of the day, this is takeaway.  USA TODAY sports writer Dan Wolkin who grew up in Hot Springs admitted he had never heard of Champion.

Now he has.

Off-Topic Post Script: Take a moment and read through Micheal Turney's excellent tracing of the origins of the P.T. Barnum quote from the first link above.  A good read that once again proves my Harry Truman approach to America: The only thing new in the world is the history you don't know. As a Post-Post Script: Enjoy #5 on this link to Truman's value of history.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

MF's Tweeting Yourself to Unemployment

On this day of the latest version, I can't beat what Mental Floss did today.  Enjoy their recap and share with your friends, staff and students.

Now within that, on #6 and #12, I recall also the infamous Red Cross drunk tweet. Or frankly, @ArkRazorbacks' FU on a stolen phone. Bad tweet doesn't always lead to dismissal if handled well.

Then again, on the other 14 - and today's edition from South Africa and yesterday's rehash of the KU professor - sometimes you can't.  And they can cause you legal trouble both before - the Astoria, Ore., teen's hit and run - and after - a California young man seeing his charges upgraded.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Kansas Raises the Bar on Social Liability

An update on earlier notation that David Guth would become the next battleground for academic freedom and social media regulation.  The Kansas Board of Regents voted unanimously to give its campus leaders, quoting from The Chronicle, the ability“to suspend, dismiss, or terminate from employment any faculty or staff member who makes improper use of social media.”

Remember that Guth was suspended for his comments about NRA members after the Navy Yard shooting.

Let's remember, Kansas already had a very broad hate speech policy and that it had on the books the statement that social media was covered under that guideline.

This makes it crystal clear.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Facebook's Sports Play

For a long time, college athletic programs put their majority focus into Twitter.  As a 2004 adopter, myself among them.  Over time and new responsibilities, I've gotten a stronger sense of the need to be in both spaces -- Facebook and Twitter -- but with the right content and the right timing (in other words, yet another time to say delink your damn accounts).

Facebook's aging demo plays well toward alumni, parents and influencers -- especially outside the urban markets -- but it has not been a big factor in sports.

Until this week.  Yes, Facebook lost out on SnapChat in a bid to get younger, but it just vacuumed up SportsStream.

The product creates a second screen using the streams from Twitter, official team data (live stats) and visuals from InstaGram and others.  Sort of automating the kind of live blogging many do with tools like CoverItLive.

Paul Allen believed in the concept, and now the Zuck is on board.

Monday, December 09, 2013

End of the Internet, or Anonymous Posting?

When the big guns come out, must be something to it. The DMCA's "safe harbor" on copyright was the last time Google, et al, united.

Now they come to the rescue of TheDirty versus "that cheerleader".

Sarah Jones became the subject of postings that she claims were false, and she has sued.

The People vs Larry Flynt? Maybe. But the fear that a loss for TheDirty (home of Anthony Weiner, well, you know) could put liability on all online "news" groups.

How about that? Some old fashioned got to have a name and an address, maybe even a call back number, to put your letter to the editor out there.

Right after the Ed O'Bannon suit, this could be the most important legislation impacting college sports.