Friday Q&A: July 27th, 2012

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1) Will recently posted about TSL getting VT press credentials.  I am sure that over the years the TSL staff has discussed the “what ifs” should this ever come to pass.  At this point, any thoughts about what changes this might usher in?

Chris Coleman: Good question.  Yes, we’ve definitely sat around the office and floated ideas about how we would handle coverage if we were ever granted press credentials.  We were thinking more along the lines of 3-4 years from now.  We never thought we had a shot at a press pass because of Jim Weaver’s feelings about message boards.

Earlier this week we noticed a major change in the wording in the VT media guide about who does and who doesn’t get a press pass.  I won’t bore you with any details, but it was obvious that we could get press passes after reading the new rules.

Will and I had a meeting this morning with Dave Smith, the Assistant Director of Athletics for Communications, and Bryan “B.J.” Johnston, who also handles communications for football.  They explained that with Tech’s older policies, they were forced to deny access to websites that had credentials at other schools.  These sites would have access at all games for the most part, except games at Virginia Tech.  They didn’t come out and say it, but that does make Tech look bad in the eyes of some folks, particularly folks at other schools.

They decided it was time to make a change in Virginia Tech’s internet media policy.  Dave Smith and Tim East (Associate AD for External Affairs) had a meeting with Jim Weaver, and they explained to him that the internet has changed a lot since the 1990’s.  Message boards aren’t as big a deal as they used to be, because things like Twitter are out there.  To his credit, Weaver understood and agreed.

I won’t go over all the details, but if a website’s full focus is covering Virginia Tech athletics, and they have two full-time salaried employees, they now have access.  No blogs, and nobody who runs a site in their spare time, will be allowed.  Only those folks who do it as a profession to pay the bills.  So when football practice opens, we’ll be there.  On media day, I’ll be there doing interviews.

What changes will that usher in?  We’ve got to be very careful.  We spent years basing our business model around the fact that we didn’t have access.  It would be very difficult to come up with a new business plan in just