There has been quite a hot button issue among sports journalists in the state of Iowa these past few weeks. An issue that most normal folks might not see as a huge issue but it is. The Iowa High School Athletic Association and the Iowa High School Sports Network have sold their souls to the almighty dollar. I’m not going to write a whole lot in this blog, instead I’m going to show a few screen shots from Twitter and let you, dear readers, draw your own conclusions on what this means for the coverage of your local athletes when they go to state.
Okay, what do you see wrong with this one? The fact that people have to pay nearly $10 for just the first two rounds of the state wrestling tournament to stream it online? What about the semi-finals and the finals? How would you watch those?
That would be the TV coverage map with areas that have Comcast Sports Network and those who do not. I see our little slice of paradise in Siouxland isn't covered. How would families that cannot travel be able to watch their loved ones compete at state? Go down to the lone dot in Greene County and hope it's not filled up? This is completely ridiculously on the IHSAA and IHSSN. They've signed a multi-year contract with CSN to do this to the state of Iowa. How does this help our student athletes? They've changed the rules for how sports journalists can cover student athletes at state meets and tournaments.
Media can no longer sit on the mats to take photos. They are to remain behind a barricade that's at least three feet away from the mat. There are three interview areas set up for that purpose only. Oh, and they got rid of media row too. In order to work on photos, type up stories, and to do both while watch, we have to sit in the warm up area for the wrestlers in a hallway. They are not allowing media to be there in front of the action to work unless they're taking photos. This will not create the best coverage for small newspapers. It will not create the best coverage for larger newspapers. This hurts how we're able to cover YOUR student athletes at the state level.
And, in turn, we all suffer from it. Contact the IHSSA and IHSSN to try to talk to sense into them. This isn't about our student athletes anymore. It's about making money off of them.