Emmert and the Twitter explosion

Sometime during the afternoon Thursday, just before Ed O’Bannon’s lawyers started their cross examination of NCAA President Mark Emmert, CBS’s Seth Davis sent out the following tweet: “Amazing coincidence that the writers who always rip the NCAA and Mark Emmert all think the trial is going against him.”

Davis was right. For those of us following the case that has ramifications that could permanently change the way NCAA athletics are conducted, our choices for news about the trial are slim. The trial is not being broadcast or streamed live so we have to depend on twitter feeds from people who are in attendance. The result is that we must sift through their personal bias in order to understand the trial.

Reading the tweets, it appears the NCAA is in trouble. But then again, those who paid attention to the Casey Anthony trial, or worse, listened to what Nancy Grace had to say, believed that Casey Anthony killed her daughter Caylee. The jury, without the filter of media opinion, saw the trial differently.

As a media professor I try to convince my students to examine multiple sources and points of view in a story in order to get the best possible idea of what is really happening.

The Ed O’Bannon trial is rife with ethical and legal ramifications. In one sense it is easy to crucify the NCAA for its hypocritical use of athletes and their images. But there are good people who believe that amateurism is good for the NCAA.

This trial is a start in the process of making necessary changes. We need the people tweeting this to take an old fashioned journalism approach.

I just want the facts.



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