Viewpoint: Who owns the Bulldogs? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Viewpoint: Who owns the Bulldogs?

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You may have read about media outlets protesting the Southeastern Conference's new policy for covering football games.

What you may not know is that this new media policy also limits what you the fan can do at SEC football games.

From taking photos to keeping a friend updated on the game via cell phone, these activities are now also banned under the new SEC guidelines.

The new policy also will prevent stations like WALB to continue our coverage of local athletes playing at SEC schools as well as coverage of SEC teams outside the state of Georgia such as the University of Florida and Auburn.

These guidelines are the result of new billion dollar agreements with two television networks and an internet company.

WALB and the other media outlets believe the SEC should maximize its earning potential.

However, the league does not need these NFL type media guidelines to protect the interests of its broadcast partners and its own copyright interests.

The NFL is a private business while 11 of the SEC's 12 member schools are taxpayer supported public universities.

Whether you are a Georgia fan or not, Bulldog football players study, eat, train and sleep in facilities that have been built or furnished with your tax dollars.

It is your right to have as much access to your state's college football team.

We urge you to contact University President Michael Adams, the Board of Regents and your local state representatives and ask them to take whatever action to make sure that University of Georgia football belongs to the people of this state-- and not big television networks.