No Other Alternative
by Will Stewart, TechSideline.com, 2/27/02
Editor's Note: this article is very lengthy, but we encourage you to read it fully and completely. It contains important information regarding TechSideline.com's position regarding media access to the Virginia Tech Athletic Department, our attempts to gain media access, Virginia Tech's refusal and policy, and the reasons why we have filed suit against Virginia Tech.
By now, you have no doubt heard that TechSideline.com is suing the Virginia Tech Athletic Department for media access. This is a regrettable turn of events, one that we are frankly shocked we have been forced to embark upon. But over the last three years, our polite requests for media access through the proper channels have repeatedly been refused by the Virginia Tech Athletic Department, without adequate explanation or clarification.
When we submit a formal request for media access, we are told by Virginia Tech "We do not credential independent internet-only media." When we ask "Why not?" we are told, "Because that is our policy."
Media access is vital to the survival of this business. Numerous other businesses that operate in our field, covering Virginia Tech athletics, have access to VT players, coaches, press conferences, press releases, and administrators, while we do not. Of all the publications and media outlets that cover Virginia Tech athletics on a regular basis, only TechSideline (referred to as TSL) has been refused media access. It has put us at an extreme disadvantage, and for us to compete, survive, and grow, we simply must have access, access which has repeatedly been denied without a cogent explanation as to why.
In August of 1999, I, as owner of TSL, decided to partner with SportsWar LLC. I quit my prior career to help SportsWar turn TSL, up until then my part-time love, into a business. TSL was incorporated, infused with capital and a full-time staff and built into a full-time, news-gathering and reporting organization. The marketplace of readers has noticed our hard work; over the past two years we have grown our readership considerably to now over 250,000 individuals haling from every single state and a multitude of countries spanning the globe. TSL launched a significant and rapidly growing paid subscription publication, the TSL Extra, to augment its online publication, which is supported exclusively by paid advertising clients. Throughout this time of great evolution, our business has maintained and strengthened its dominant position.
Since August of 1999, we have formally requested media credentials/access from Virginia Tech five times and have been refused every time. In addition, direct appeals to Virginia Tech Director of Athletics Jim Weaver and Virginia Tech President Dr. Charles W. Steger have proven frustrating and fruitless. Despite our great success in building the business and its readership, Virginia Tech's response to our requests for press access has not evolved, remaining all the while a firm, curt "no" without any further clarification.
There is no indication that Virginia Tech's policy is ever going to change with regards to granting media access to TechSideline.
As a survival measure, we therefore find it necessary to sue to remedy this wrong. Our business continues to suffer due to our lack of media access to the Virginia Tech Athletic Department. We have exhausted all non-legal avenues and must now pursue legal action. It is distasteful to us and most disappointing, but we have no alternative.
The remainder of this document is:
1.) A brief statement of Virginia Tech's published policy with regards to granting media access to web sites.
2.) A further detailing of our position and why TechSideline should be granted media access to the Virginia Tech Athletic Department (we provide linked documents that break down and clarify our position in much greater detail).
3.) A history of HokieCentral.com/TechSideline.com media access/credential requests, and Virginia Tech's refusal of such. Also included is a recounting of TechSideline's direct appeals to Jim Weaver and Dr. Charles Steger.
4.) Documented inconsistencies in Virginia Tech's application of their stated access policy towards independent web sites -- instances in which Virginia Tech has indeed granted media credentials and interviews to independent web sites while refusing the same to TechSideline.com.
5.) A list of other universities and organizations that have granted media credentials to TechSideline.com in the past.
6.) Notes concerning a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that TechSideline.com made to Virginia Tech early this year.
You will see from the sequence of events listed below that we have done everything we can to resolve the situation amicably and diplomatically. We have followed athletic department procedure by requesting media access through the Sports Information Department (SID), we have appealed personally to Mr. Weaver multiple times, and we have appealed to University President Charles Steger. All of our efforts have been rebuffed, so it is with great regret that we embark on the action of suing the Virginia Tech Athletic Department for media access, merely so we can be allowed to conduct our business in the proper manner, on a level playing field with our competition.
This is not in any way a personal issue between any member of our organization and any employee of Virginia Tech, either inside or outside the athletic department. This is not vindictive or spiteful on our part. On the contrary, as most of you already are aware, TechSideline has always tried to be a friend to the University and its athletic department.
We are suing Mr. Weaver, the individual, because in order to file the type of lawsuit we are filing, we must sue an individual; we cannot sue the institution "Virginia Tech." Since the refusal of media access to TechSideline is at Mr. Weaver orders, we have chosen to sue him as the policy setter in the athletic department.
The remainder of this document is long, detailed, and factual. We strongly recommend that you read it fully as well as the linked attachments, in order to gain a complete understanding of our efforts, our position, and our opinion that we have no recourse except to file suit.
Virginia Tech's Position
Virginia Tech has consistently refused media access to TechSideline.com by quoting its policy that it only grants access to "Virginia Tech's official web site, the visiting team's official web site and the Big East Conference's official web site" (from the 2000 and 2001 Virginia Tech Football Media Guides, on page 4 of each guide). Despite numerous attempts by us over the past three years, Virginia Tech has never been willing to engage us in meaningful dialog or to provide a cogent argument on the merits or lack thereof of its "policy."
Our position is simple: TechSideline.com is a large, widely read publication dedicated full-time to covering Virginia Tech athletics. As such, our requests for media access to the Virginia Tech Athletic Department should be treated fairly and in accordance with requests made by any other newsgathering and reporting organization. By law, Virginia Tech, as a public university, is required to have a public policy for deciding who is to be granted press access, and importantly this policy must be reasonable, and it cannot be arbitrary. Not only is this the law, it is sensible and makes for fair business practice.
TechSideline.com is a media outlet staffed by full-time personnel. At over 250,000 individuals, its readership surpasses that of many other media organizations that are regularly granted access to the Virginia Tech Athletic Department. Our readership comes from every single state and numerous foreign countries. We think it obvious that our business should be granted media access. Whether our audience is online or off is completely irrelevant.
We feel that Virginia Tech’s blanket exclusion of "independent web sites" is not fair, just, or legal. Instead of screening web media for legitimacy, as it does with other forms of media, Virginia Tech simply refuses access to all web sites, except for those listed in its published policy. If Virginia Tech were to invoke a similar policy in, for example, print media, by granting access only to "Virginia Tech's official newspaper, the visiting team's official newspaper, and the Big East Conference's official newspaper," the policy would be an obvious violation of the United States Constitution's First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of the press. Similarly, Virginia Tech's policy with regards to web sites is an obvious violation of our First Amendment rights to freedom of the press.
Interestingly, Virginia Tech athletic officials have stated on numerous occasions, including to me personally, words to the effect of, "If we granted access to TechSideline.com, we would have to grant access to everyone with a web site." This is, of course, patently untrue. In the same fashion that Virginia Tech screens other media for legitimacy, they can screen web media for legitimacy. They simply refuse to put forth the effort. This lack of effort is hurting our business and preventing us from operating effectively.
Moreover, adding insult to our injury, Virginia Tech's current "policy" is not consistently or fairly applied. On numerous occasions, the Virginia Tech Athletic Department has granted access to other independent web sites while denying access to TechSideline.com. In fact, there is a current, ongoing inconsistency where total access is being granted to an independent web site, while the same is denied to TechSideline.com (more on this later).
History of HokieCentral.com/TechSideline.com Efforts to Gain Media Access
After HokieCentral.com incorporated as a full-time publication in early August of 1999, we arranged a meeting with Virginia Tech's Associate Athletics Director for External Affairs, Dave Chambers. The meeting was held on September 1st, 1999, at 11:00 a.m., and was attended by myself, James Arthur (who was HokieCentral.com's business development manager at the time), Mr. Chambers, and Dave Smith, Virginia Tech's Sports Information Director.
The meeting was very cordial, and in this meeting, James and I presented Mr. Chambers and Mr. Smith with a document
titled "Media Credentials for Web Sites, and the Case for HokieCentral.com." The document, which was 11 pages
long, very reasonably explained what set HokieCentral.com apart from other independent Virginia Tech sports web sites,
and it addressed possible concerns and objections the athletic department might have.
Along with the document, we gave Mr. Chambers our media credential request for the 1999 football season. The very
next day, despite our lengthy and convincing presentation, Virginia Tech, in the person of Dave Smith, drafted a letter
denying our credential request. The denial did not address any of the points regarding our business or our presentation,
instead simply, "It is our policy that only the official/designated web sites from the two competing schools are
eligible for press credentials."
On February 4, 2000, we requested media access for three men's home basketball games and three women's home
basketball games. The request was faxed to Assistant Sports Information Director Bryan Messerly, the contact for
basketball media credential requests. Within four days, Mr. Messerly responded with a denial letter dated February 8,
2000 that briefly stated, "Our policy is that only the official/designated web sites of the two competing schools
are eligible for press credentials."
On August 10, 2000, HokieCentral.com drafted a credential request for the 2000 football season and sent it to Dave
Smith. Virginia Tech responded within 12 days, in a letter dated August 22, 2000. The refusal letter was again very
brief and stated only, "… our position on web sites has not changed."
On November 27, 2000, Mark Massey, the Chairman and Founder of SportsWar, TechSideline.com's parent company, drafted
a four-page letter to Virginia Tech Director of Athletics Jim Weaver and sent it to him via Federal Express. The letter
was also copied to a number of individuals within the athletic department, as well as key Virginia Tech personnel
outside the athletic department. It once again outlined our position in great detail, including addressing any
objections or concerns the athletic department might have.
After approximately two weeks, on December 14, Mr. Massey received a brief reply from Dave Chambers (not Jim Weaver)
that did not address any of the points of our letter. It said simply, "As per our policy for issuing press
credentials (copy enclosed), it provides in part that credentials are issued to print, print, television, and radio
media, as well as the official web sites of Virginia Tech, the visiting team, and the Big East Conference. Furthermore,
representatives staffing web sites (other than the aforementioned) shall not be accredited for credentials."
In February of 2001, SportsWar's president, Matt Welsh, drafted a letter to Virginia Tech President Dr. Charles W.
Steger, apprising him of the situation and asking him for his help. Mr. Welsh's letter included a statement that bluntly
implied that SportsWar had exhausted all diplomatic avenues and would next pursue legal action. The letter was a plea to
Dr. Steger to step in and moderate the situation before legal action was necessary.
The letter to Dr. Steger was answered by a call from Mr. Weaver to Mr. Welsh. Mr. Weaver told Mr. Welsh that he (Mr. Weaver) had met with Dr. Steger and other University officials, and that Virginia Tech was not going to issue media access to TechSideline.com.
At one point, Mr. Weaver made the statement to Mr. Welsh, "You (TechSideline.com) are not media," a statement which we consider to be demonstrably false. Mr. Weaver then went on to say, "You can't tell me that Will Stewart is a journalist." He then explained to Mr. Welsh that Will Stewart could not possibly be a journalist because he has an engineering degree. Mr. Welsh again attempted to get to the crux of the matter and discover what reasoning was behind Virginia Tech's policy. He was met with another curious response. "We (Virginia Tech) already have a website," Mr. Weaver said.
Mr. Weaver's phone call was followed by a short letter from Dr. Steger to Mr. Welsh, dated April 4, 2001, in which
Dr. Steger essentially refused to get involved, and he referred the matter back to Mr. Weaver.
Mr. Welsh requested a face-to-face meeting with Mr. Weaver, which was granted, and on April 19, they met in Mr. Weaver's office in Blacksburg. The meeting was cordial, but Mr. Weaver refused to explain his position or engage in a meaningful dialog as to its merits or lack thereof other than to state, "We are not responsible for promoting your business." Mr. Welsh's subsequent offer to accept media access for TechSideline on a probationary basis was flatly refused, as was his suggestion that Virginia Tech could easily implement a policy to differentiate between web-only media organizations that deserve media access and those that do not (suggested guidelines were spelled out back in August of 1999 in the presentation Media Credentials for Web Sites).
On August 13, 2001, TechSideline.com drafted a media access request for the 2001 football season and sent it to Dave
Smith. TechSideline.com's 2001 media request did not include press box access, just access to practices, press
conferences, and interview access to players coaches, and administrators.
On August 23rd SportsWar's attorney faxed and overnighted a three-page letter to Jerry Cain, Virginia Tech's General
Counsel, advising him of the situation and our intent to file suit for judicial relief barring a last minute turn of events.
On August 25th, we received Virginia Tech's rejection of our 2001 access request. Their reply was dated August 23rd,
the same date we FAXed our letter to Virginia Tech's General Counsel.
Legal action was tabled at the time due to various business concerns and time constraints.
On February 7, 2002, TechSideline.com drafted a media access request for 2002 spring football football season and sent it to Dave
Smith. This request included access to practices, scrimmages, press
conferences, and interview access to players coaches, and administrators.
On February 13, 2002, we received Virginia Tech's rejection of our 2002 spring access request. Their reply was dated
On February 26th, SportsWar's attorney sent a five-page letter to Jerry Cain, Virginia Tech's General
Counsel, outlining our legal position and other arguments.
That's where things stand today.
Of all the documents linked above, Mark Massey's letter to Tech Athletic Director Jim Weaver in November of 2000 best clarifies and explains TechSideline.com's position with regards to media access for TSL. It is important reading, so the full text of that letter is included in this article:
Dear Mr. Weaver:
I hope this letter finds you well. I am President of SportsWar, L.L.C., the parent company of TechSideline.com, formerly known as HokieCentral.com. I am writing you in the hope of opening a direct dialog regarding the issue of press access for TechSideline. As you may recall, we have repeatedly attempted to address this issue with you in the past, but we were not permitted to communicate with you directly, nor were we given any satisfactory explanation for being denied press credentials or access to players and coaches for purposes of conducting interviews for our publication.
I must say that I am appalled by the lack of cooperation we have received on this matter from you and your department. TechSideline garners one of the largest (if not the largest) Hokie readerships in the world. Our readers, who reside in every state and many different countries, enjoy our publication for its deep, partisan, yet independent viewpoint on their favorite topic, The Virginia Tech Hokies. At last count, our readership had surpassed 250,000 individuals, a number that continues to grow. Our loyal readership is deeply appreciative of the hard work put into the publication each day by its committed and passionate staff. The readers know that TechSideline’s goal is to bring Hokie fans the best coverage possible; what they don’t know is that this goal is being unfairly and severely compromised by you and your department for reasons unknown. We know our readership, which is comprised of the most dedicated fans, friends and alumni of Virginia Tech, would find this lack of cooperation quite disturbing. Ironically, I think most of them would agree that TechSideline is a valuable asset to the promotion and continued success of Virginia Tech athletics.
While I do not understand your actions or motivations, it is my sincere hope that we can resolve any issues that you may have with regard to TechSideline, and move forward without further delay. I would welcome the chance to meet with you and to personally resolve your concerns (if any) at your earliest convenience.
The reason I am contacting you instead of the Virginia Tech Sports Information Director is because I have been led to believe, wrongly I hope, that TechSideline's press access requests have been denied under your direct orders. As you can imagine, I would like to know and understand what formal policy criteria are being used in making this judgment. Additionally, I expect to be permitted to address any issues or concerns that you may have, with the goal of quickly moving forward. Toward this end, let me take the liberty of addressing a few concerns that you may have:
As you may know, we had been using the name HokieCentral with the knowledge and permission of the Virginia Tech Licensing Department, a department with which we have enjoyed an open and professional relationship. Nevertheless, we certainly have no intent or desire to misuse any of Virginia Tech’s trademarks. Therefore, we have complied with the recent written request we received – a request which represents an apparent change in policy at VT regarding our use of the word "Hokie" in our publication’s name. As mentioned above the new name of our publication is TechSideline (www.techsideline.com). If, indeed, this was the reason for our being denied press access in the past, let us clear the air and move forward.
Generally, the concern is that any fan can start a web site and claim to be "media," and that if VT allows one Web publication access, it will not be able to deny access to other Web publications, regardless of their lack of merit or acceptance by the public as media.
TechSideline.com has built a significant business over the past six years; it has a full-time, professional staff and, most important, it is widely read by a large base of readers. In other words, it is widely accepted as media by consumers as well as the traditional media organizations with which it competes. In fact, TechSideline enjoys an active and verifiable readership (circulation) of over 250,000 people, making it one of the most widely read publications covering Virginia Tech athletics, notwithstanding the fact that our competitors enjoy the benefits of complete press access that we have been unjustly and arbitrarily denied.
Furthermore, granting TechSideline press access does not mean VT will be forced to grant the same access to a fly-by-night Web site with little or no audience, just as VT is not forced to grant access to one guy with a typewriter and a mailing list as a result of its granting access to The Richmond Times Dispatch.
If this is the case and Virginia Tech’s formal written policy is to issue press credentials on a first-come-first-served basis (as opposed to by the size of verifiable readership), then we are willing to be inconvenienced (if there is no alternative) by being left out of the press box during the sporting event in question. However, we feel the lack of room in the press box is no justification for denying our writers other access that does not suffer from the same physical constraint of "not enough seats". In other words, we believe we deserve and should be permitted all other access to coaches, players, conference calls, press conferences, etc. as enjoyed by other media representatives.
Of course, if there is room in the press box, there is no reason we should be excluded from using it. Frankly, we believe TechSideline’s stature in the marketplace dictates that it be included ahead of most organizations who now enjoy access, yet who devote far fewer resources and less time and effort to covering Virginia Tech athletics. (Of course, we are not the stewards of Virginia Tech policy in these or other matters. We would, however, like to see a written copy of the rules and policies in this regard, if any exist.)
As you may know, SportsWar, LLC owns other similar publications, one being TheSabre (www.thesabre.com), which covers University of Virginia sports and enjoys a good working relationship with the UVa Athletic Department. TheSabre adheres completely to the standards asked of all other media credentialed by UVa. UVa granted press access to TheSabre two years ago. Since that time, the relationship between the two parties has become increasingly cooperative, professional and beneficial. I can tell you for a fact that the coverage enjoyed by UVA fans and alumni via TheSabre is without question significantly better than that enjoyed by Virginia Tech fans and alumni via TechSideline. This is only because of the Virginia Sports Information Department’s penchant for openness and fairness. Virginia Tech fans, of course, deserve to have the same access. The staff at TechSideline seeks and deserves full media access so that the publication may fully cover Virginia Tech athletics (to include among other things interviews with coaches and players) and be permitted to fairly compete in the marketplace for the hearts and minds of Virginia Tech fans and alumni.
Incidentally, for what it is worth, I believe that UVa fans and alumni would strongly agree that TheSabre’s presence in the marketplace is not only unique, but also that it provides a valuable, yet unintended asset to the promotion and continued success of Virginia’s athletic program now, and in the years to come. I am also confident that the fans and alumni of Virginia Tech would strongly echo these sentiments as they relate to TechSideline and Virginia Tech’s athletic program.
Mr. Weaver, whether it be your intention or not, TechSideline is simply being treated wrongly and unfairly by Virginia Tech. This unfair treatment is significantly harming TechSideline’s business as well as the ability of its large readership to get the full access that they rightly deserve through TechSideline’s unique perspective – a perspective they cherish in each of the hundreds of articles we write and publish each year solely on Virginia Tech athletics. As you can imagine we are quite upset; the staff and I cannot understand why Virginia Tech would take this inequitable and anti-competitive position, but I am certain that all of us have better things to do with our time.
Thank you so much for your kind attention to this matter. I look forward to your reply and I would welcome the opportunity to speak with you, if necessary. It is my sincere hope that this has merely been a misunderstanding between the two parties and that we can rectify this situation without further delay or incident.
Sincerely and respectfully yours,
Mark T. Massey
It should be noted that while Virginia Tech was refusing media access to TechSideline.com for the last two years under its "policy" of not granting access to independent web sites, it was, in truth, not consistently or fairly applying its policy.
We have uncovered six documented cases in the last three years of other independent web sites being granted access to Virginia Tech games, coaches, players, or administrators:
1.) November, 1998: Michael Ingalls of VirginiaFootball.com (now TheSabre.com) requested and was granted media
access to the 1998 Virginia/Virginia Tech football game in Lane Stadium. While on the sideline during the game as a
media representative of TheSabre.com, Mr. Ingalls took several rolls of film, including a photo of Ahmad Hawkins
kneeling in the end zone after his game-winning catch. The photo was used on the cover of the 1999 Virginia Football
2.) December 20, 1999: Warchant.com, an independent Florida State web site, was granted access to interview Frank
3.) January 24, 2000: Michael Ingalls of TheSabre.com requested and was granted a press pass for the
Virginia/Virginia Tech men's basketball game in the Richmond Coliseum. Note that Virginia Tech controlled media access
for this game because it was a "home" game for the Hokies.
4.) August 9, 2000: CollegeFootballNews.com was granted access to interview Virginia Tech QB Michael Vick.
5.) November 17, 2000: In Bill Roth's "Kroger Roth Report," he wrote "Last week, a station from Denver
asked for an interview even though it's not a "real" radio station - just a couple of guys in a studio who
send their signal out via streaming audio on the Internet. There was no real broadcast … But since they went through
the trouble of setting up an interview through Tech's Sports Information office, we had a nice, brief talk."
6.) Lastly, Virginia Tech grants complete access to BeamerBall.com, Coach Beamer's personal web site. While on the surface this may sound reasonable, it should be noted that BeamerBall.com is not an official Virginia Tech production -- it is produced by an independent company, and is therefore an independent web site. Virginia Tech is directly violating its own stated policy by giving total access to BeamerBall.com, an independent web site, while denying access to TechSideline.com, an independent web site.
Other Schools and Organizations Granting Media Access to HokieCentral.com/TechSideline.com
In the last two years, HokieCentral.com (and later TechSideline.com) requested media access to a number of road games:
Out of these requests, the following access requests were granted:
Of the listed games, due to budgetary constraints, TechSideline.com was only able to attend the men's basketball game at Duquesne (2/27/00) and the football games at West Virginia (10/6/01) and the Toyota Gator Bowl (1/1/02). At both games, Will Stewart attended the game as a working media representative from TechSideline.com, sat on press row, and had locker room and post-game press conference access.
In addition to the Central Florida football game, other football access requests may have been granted without HokieCentral.com being informed. Many Sports Information Departments will not inform the requestor of a positive response to an access request, and will merely set up a press table spot for the requestor and make other arrangements. Syracuse 2000, Temple 2001, and Pittsburgh 2001 were the only football games where HokieCentral.com and TechSideline.com were explicitly notified that access was denied.
Virginia Tech's Response to SportsWar's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Request
In January of 2001, SportsWar requested, under Virginia's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), a number of documents, including but not limited to:
1. Copy of all media credential/access requests for all Virginia Tech football games, men's basketball games and women's basketball games and the responses thereto (whether granting or refusing such requests) from June 1, 1998, to January 12, 2001, inclusive.
2. A list of all individuals, entities or media granted or denied access to weekly Virginia Tech football team press interview sessions during the 1998, 1999, and 2000 football seasons. If any such request was denied, an explanation as to the reason for such denial should also be provided.
Virginia Tech was able to provide most of the information we requested. In the information we received, we noted that every press box and field-level access pass for individual football games was recorded. The records kept for basketball games were not as inclusive and were in fact nearly non-existent.
From the information we received, we were able to glean two key points:
1. Despite the high level of detail in the football access records, VirginiaFootball.com's media pass for the 1998 Tech/UVa game in Lane Stadium was not recorded. There is no record of VirginiaFootball.com's representative Michael Ingalls' presence on the field, except for the sideline pass he was issued, which we included as documentation above.
2. Virginia Tech athletic officials have stated to me that a reason they refuse us access is because if they give access to TechSideline.com, they "would have to give access to everyone with a web site who requested it." While this statement is patently false, it is nonetheless quite interesting that in Virginia Tech's very detailed records, we found only one media access request from an independent web site other than TechSideline.com for the three-year period covered. Rob Swiger of HokieFootball.com requested press passes for one football season and was refused. Mr. Swiger no longer is involved with HokieFootball.com and no longer requests media access. The point is, there is only one web site consistently asking for press access at Virginia Tech: TechSideline.com.
TechSideline.com has a verifiable audience that is larger than many competing newsgathering and reporting organizations, which have for years been regularly permitted media access (as they should) to Virginia Tech athletic events, athletes, coaches, press conferences etc. In addition to its very large and growing advertising-supported publication, TechSideline recently began TSL Extra, which provides it with a significant and rapidly growing subscriber base.
TechSideline spends more money covering Virginia Tech athletics than most any other newsgathering and reporting organization. TechSideline is media. TechSideline should have access. Virginia Tech’s current policy is unfair, indefensible, and unconstitutional. Virginia Tech’s current policy is harming our business and denying our readership the full access that it rightly deserves through TechSideline’s unique perspective.
TechSideline is merely requesting that it be permitted to compete on an equal footing; we are not asking for anything that would prove injurious or harmful to Virginia Tech in any fashion. While we are deeply frustrated that we have been forced to take Virginia Tech into a court of law to simply be granted the media access our business clearly deserves, we sincerely feel we have been left with no other choice.
How Can You Help?
Ultimately, Virginia Tech's refusal to grant media access to TechSideline.com hurts not just us, but you, the Hokie fan. This site, and your enjoyment of it, could be greatly improved with access to players, coaches, and administrators for interviews and information.
Since many of you donate money to Virginia Tech athletics, some of you in very large amounts, you should have your say in how the athletic department is run, including the issue of granting media access to TechSideline.com. If VT's refusal to grant access to TSL is against your wishes as an athletic fund contributor (or season ticket buyer, or just as a fan), then your voice needs to be heard.
Click here to find out how you can help.