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Ohio State athletic department lifts Twitter-delay policy

An Ohio State athletic department policy that barred media members from reporting information via social media during football press conferences has been lifted.

During first-year OSU coach Urban Meyer’s Monday press conference, athletic department spokesman Jerry Emig asked reporters to delay tweeting until the event ended, as he had at previous football events during Buckeyes’ fall camp.

That directive made national news Tuesday after Akron Beacon Journal sportswriter Jason Lloyd wrote a column on the issue, and OSU has since rescinded the rule.

In an email to The Lantern, Emig said the policy was intended as a courtesy to both reporters and football personnel. It was not until after the press conference, Emig said, that he was told Meyer’s press conference was being broadcast live by Columbus radio station WBNS 97.1 FM and streamed on the athletic department’s website.

“I simply asked those in attendance to not tweet while an interview was taking place,” Emig told The Lantern. “Once I was reminded of (the live broadcast) – after the press conference – I realized that courtesy or no courtesy, we can’t ask people to delay tweeting. So even though many in attendance were supportive, we won’t ask to delay tweeting any longer.”

Lloyd brought OSU’s now-defunct policy to light in his Monday column, writing that “Ohio State officials have no legal standing to prevent reporters from sharing information.”

“Whether or not that was the intent, this reeks of a power-hungry program flexing a little muscle in a rare area where they don’t have any and searching for control in areas out of their domain,” Lloyd wrote.

OSU football is scheduled for another media event Tuesday at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

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