NEW YORK — The presidents of three leading media organizations sent a letter to Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive on Wednesday protesting the league's credential policy for college football.
The letter from the Associated Press Managing Editors, the Associated Press Sports Editors and the American Society of News Editors said the SEC's policy is too restrictive for reporters and photographers.
Among the issues of contention are rights involving video and audio game highlights and photos.
"The SEC and some other big college conferences want to become publishing and broadcasting businesses now," said David Tomlin, The Associated Press' associate general counsel
"They see the pro leagues doing it and they think it's the way to go. So the strategy is to push independent news coverage into a corner to make room for their own information services and programming. That's what these new rules are about. We don't believe they serve the fans or even the real interests of the schools themselves," he said.
The letter asks for further negotiations with the SEC. The college football season starts next week.
"We have received the letter and we are currently reviewing it," SEC spokesman Charles Bloom said, "and we will address the issues of concern with the news organizations involved."
by the associated press