Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 11/16/12
Ok, I know that unless you’re media member, used to be, or one day strive to become you may not have the biggest interest in this story, but trust me it’s a big deal. Because watching a college basketball game from courtside is a world away from watching it up at the top of a dome in the NFL press box It’s all described in a letter from U.S. Basketball Writers Association leader Joe Mitch to his members   Dear USBWA Member:   The NCAA will still provide nearly 130 seats at or near courtside for print and digital media at the 2013 Final Four in Atlanta.   While that still means that the media will be losing about 70 of the 200 seats near courtside that were available to print and digital media at recent Final Fours, the new allotment of nearly 130 seats is more than three times the amount that was being proposed for the media two months ago. At one time, there was a possibility that all of the media seating would be moved to upper decks or end zones.   Large news agencies such as the Associated Press, espn.com, CBS Sports and USA Today will receive two seats near courtside and will be responsible for determining who sits in them. At least two beat writers will be accommodated from each participating school. And writers from news agencies with a long history of covering the Final Four also will be given strong consideration for seats near courtside.   “While it is difficult to feel good about losing roughly one-third of our seats, the NCAA clearly listened to the concerns that we brought to them,” said USBWA President John Akers. “We believe that the majority of members who either cover the tournament year-in and year-out and those who need to be there to cover participating teams in the tournament will still be accommodated. While we still have concerns moving forward, from a glass-half-full perspective, we are very grateful for this outcome.   “In particular, we want to thank Dan Gavitt (NCAA vice president in charge of basketball), Mike Bobinski (the selection committee chairman), David Worlock (in charge of basketball tournament media relations) and the rest of the selection committee and the NCAA support staff for listening to us and for keeping an open mind.”   Gavitt said the new arrangement will create about 300 lower-area seats for the NCAA. He said 60 percent of those seats will be sold to players’ family and friends (at the same price as the allocations given to the participating teams); 20 percent will go to an undetermined charity; and 20 percent will go to CBS and the NCAA’s corporate partners and sponsors.   Under the new configuration, a front row of seating opposite the team benches will be used primarily for CBS, ESPN, Dial Global and each participating team’s radio teams. The remaining 22 seats during the semifinals will be given to the media, with the number growing to 30 for the championship game (with the media being given the space that was used by the radio stations of the losing teams from the semifinals).   A second media row will provide 24 seats, with 20 going to the media for the semifinals and two seats on each end going to coaches for scouting purposes. Those four seats will also open up for the championship game.   Four seats in each of the four corners of the court, located behind areas reserved for disabled seating, will also be able for the media, for a total of 16 seats.   Four more seats will be provided for two beat writers from each team (which will be swapped out after each game) on the table located behind the scorer’s table.   Finally, a row in one end zone will provide another 56 seats, most of them going to the media.   About 200 seats will be available in auxiliary seating. Board members Dana O’Neil and Pat Forde recently toured the media seating areas in the Georgia Dome, and Dana reported that the auxiliary seats might be preferable to the end zone.   The configuration will be roughly the same for each preliminary and regional site, though end-zone seating will be available at only the regional site in Arlington, Texas.   The NCAA has given assurances that media placed in auxiliary seating will be granted the same necessities – such as Internet access – as those who have courtside seats. There are still uncertainties about where auxiliary seating will be carved out for preliminary and regional sites; the USBWA vows to continue to monitor and evaluate them in the future.   Joe Mitch USBWA Executive Director mitch@usbwa.com
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Indians reveal Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field

Report: Jerry West considered rejoining the Lakers before they hired Magic Johnson

The NHL is thinking about hosting an outdoor game in Nashville

Michael Vick in talks to retire with Falcons

Hall of Fame pitcher and former U.S. Senator Jim Bunning passes away at 85

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Roger Goodell to speak at Rams event, tickets start at $550

Ohio State hails itself as the ‘fastest team in college football’

Get a look at Shia LeBeouf as John McEnroe in Borg/McEnroe movie trailer

Draymond Green is the most efficient defender in the NBA

It’s not even June, but the San Francisco Giants are probably screwed

Odell Beckham Jr. appears to take shot at Ben McAdoo

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Box Score 5/26: Bring on the Finals

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Best of Yardbarker: Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines

The 'More like Whiffer, Texas Ranger...amirite?' quiz

Stanley Cup Final: A David vs. Goliath matchup that's not as lopsided as it may appear

Manu Ginobili gave life to the San Antonio Spurs

The Rewind: Vince Carter's graduation day celebration that wasn't

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker