IOWA CITY — The University of Iowa has not decided whether or not to eliminate team media guides for the upcoming 2009-2010 sports season.
Big Ten schools Michigan, Ohio State and Wisconsin all chose to eliminate media guides for next year. According to a joint press release, Michigan and Ohio State said the move will save their departments a combined $250,000 next year. Wisconsin Athletics Director Barry Alvarez said the move will save his athletic department up to $200,000, according to reports.
Iowa Athletics Director Gary Barta said Tuesday the school will make a decision quickly and “before the deadline to print.” Big Ten schools have brought media guides to the league’s annual football media days in late July. Barta said the school has considered the move for several months.
“Whether or not we eliminate them, I’m not certain yet,” he said. “We haven’t made any final decisions. but we did talk about ways we might be able to reduce them and use the Internet, use an electronic replacement for those.
“We met about it the last couple of weeks, so we’re going to have to make a decision pretty soon.”
Barta said it’s possible the school may choose to keep some of the media guides but eliminate others. Conserving paper and sustainability also are factors in Iowa’s choice to keep the guides or eliminate them.
Media guides formerly displayed vital information for reporters. In 2004, Missouri’s football media guide was 614 pages and had four pages dedicated to red-shirt freshmen. In 2005, the NCAA limited football media guides to 208 pages, and schools chose to use the guides as a recruiting tool and less of a history book.
Barta said the department will examine how eliminating the guide might affect recruiting before making a final decision.
“One of the ways many of the young people we recruit now when we talk to them, they’re really going to Web sites, Internet sites,” Barta said. “So that appears to be where the trend is going anyway. So that’s what we’re trying to determine. Certainly we don’t want to do anything to damage our recruiting.
“If you look at there’s a lot more interest in going green in conserving paper, etc. The world has certainly changed a lot electronically and the Internet from five years ago and economically things have changed as well.