Print Is Dead: Georgia Re-Prints 14,000 Media Guides After AD Resignation

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↵If you've ever worked in a college sports information office you know that the most daunting and time-consuming project of the year is the football media guide. Unless you've done one of these books, you cannot imagine the amount of detail that has to go into every single page. ↵

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↵Nearly half the book is basically dedicated to recruiting mumbo jumbo in an effort to show off everything from former players in the NFL to the state-of-the-art facilities to how great the atmosphere is on game day. While the NCAA's antiquated rules limit the book to 208 pages and only one color ink (a ludicrous rule, frankly) you'd still be amazed at how every little thing is scrutinized and changed and manipulated by the head coach – and if you're lucky, meddlesome assistants – who want every single thing in their recruiting brochure absolutely perfect. ↵

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↵Then, when that's done, you remember it's a media guide and there has to be something squeezed inside the book that can actually serve those covering your team. Not only does it have to look good, but it has to be factually correct and, hopefully, well written and easily digestible for the press. ↵

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↵Then you have to deal with the alumni who call your office every single year to remind you that they didn't just earn a letter in 1947 and 1948, but also in 1949 as well. Oh, and they played end, not defensive end or tight end. Just…end. ↵

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↵Now, imagine after all that, your Athletic Director goes and gets arrested for a DUI with a woman in the car who was not his wife, subsequently resigns less than a week later, all while that picture-perfect media guide is sitting in hundreds of boxes outside your office door just cackling at you. If you listen carefully, you can hear the spiral binding whisper "you should have just made a PDF" as you walk down the hall. Per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: ↵

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↵⇥Georgia plans to reprint about 14,000 football media guides to remove references to ousted athletics director Damon Evans. ↵⇥

↵⇥The Bulldogs’ annual media guide, which is distributed to donors and recruits as well as the media, was printed shortly before Evans’ June 30 DUI arrest and subsequent resignation. ↵⇥

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↵Georgia's Sports Information office noted that the books were delivered on June 24, six days before Evans was arrested and 10 days before his formal resignation. The school printed 21,000 media guides, but 7,000 were distributed to media and recruits the week prior to Evans' arrest. Those will not be re-sent. ↵

↵In fact, the books sent to recruits cannot be re-sent, by NCAA rule, because you're technically only allowed to send one book to each prospect. Even still, Georgia would have to hustle to get books in the mail to any additional recruits as the NCAA mandated that schools cannot mail out books any later than August 1. Yes, another completely random and ridiculously arbitrary rule by the NCAA. ↵

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↵The AJC report indicates that the price of reprint is not available, but a friend in the industry – whose company does not currently print Georgia's book – estimated the reprint could cost upwards of $40,000. ↵

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↵There is a long-standing debate about legislating printed media guides out of college sports. To me, it's for no other reason than schools want the public to think they are saving money by cutting their publications budget – a budget, by the way, that's usually around $100,000 (though many schools recoup much of that cost by selling their books to the general public). Of course, that money isn't being saved at all, as most schools have transformed their publications budget into some other form of recruiting. See that fancy new website? That cost as much as the yearbook used to cost. A rotating logo that breathes fire whenever you enter the building? Sure it cost 60 grand, but we saved almost twice that by cutting media guides. ↵

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↵That said, the fire-breathing logo wouldn’t need to be reprinted if your AD resigns in shame, would it? Even the logo is screaming "make a PDF" at this point. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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