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December 1, 2010

A note to our readers

Since 1990, Gold & Black Illustrated has published, dedicated to covering Purdue University football and basketball wherever it competes.

For the first time in its two-plus decades of existence, however, GBI has been denied media credentials to an event on another school's campus.

We regret to inform our readers that GoldandBlack.com, our magazine's online counterpart, will not have in-person coverage of tonight's Purdue men's basketball game at Virginia Tech as part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

Citing athletic department policy disallowing media credentials to any web site affiliated with media entities considered to "primarily" cover recruiting and those sites that "sponsor" message boards that do not require posters to reveal their "actual name and city," Virgina Tech declined our request solely due to GoldandBlack.com's affiliation with Rivals.com, a national network of college sports web sites.

Virginia Tech declined multiple requests made by our staff, as well as a request to reconsider sent from the United States Basketball Writers Association. Neither the Big Ten nor Atlantic Coast Conference hold any jurisdiction in such matters.

It is absolutely, positively the right of any university to credential whomever they see fit, but we consider it unfortunate and disappointing when media outlets are not judged on their own merits, but rather dismissed out of hand by mere association or stereotype.

We have always considered media access a privilege and appreciate those schools and tournaments that have granted it to us.

As noted above, this is the first time in the 20-plus years Gold & Black Illustrated, a fully independent publication and member of the College Sports Publishers Association, has been denied a credential by another school. Additionally, we have been credentialed to prominent preseason events, as well as Big Ten and NCAA tournaments.

Media dynamics have changed profoundly in recent years, as the Internet's become a new central front of sorts in journalism, especially sports journalism, where networks such as Rivals.com and Scout.com and social media such as Twitter have become prominent.

We would be remiss, too, not to note the glaring inconsistencies and double-standards in the policies set forth by Virginia Tech's athletic department.

Rivals.com sites "will not qualify" for credentials because it focuses largely - but certainly not "primarily," a key term in Virginia Tech's written credentialing policies available on-line - on covering college football and basketball recruiting.

ESPN, the network broadcasting the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, including tonight's Purdue-Virginia Tech game, maintains its own on-line recruiting network as part of ESPN.com.

As for anonymous message board posting, it should be noted the move on most major newspapers' part to make their online components more interactive with their online communities.

Each of the local newspapers linked to on Virginia Tech's athletic communications directory at HokieSports.com features some sort of anonymous interaction component, whether it be StoryChat, which allows readers to respond to posted articles, or simply with a response mechanism to their blogging platforms.

But it is not our intention with this notice to illustrate to Virginia Tech that the world is, in fact, round, but rather to regretfully inform our robust readership of tonight's situation.

With that said, know that we have made every effort to ensure that we can still bring you thorough coverage from tonight's game, even if we have to do it from the couch at home.

We will once again have our usual in-game blog, "Game Day Live," as well as a full report and thorough analysis of Purdue's highest-profile game of the season to date.

Thank you for listening and to whoever it was who had a little extra room on their United Airlines flight to Roanoke this morning, because our seat was left empty, you're welcome.












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