Local News

NCAA Tournament Stacked With Regulations

Posted March 21, 2008 7:28 p.m. EDT

— The NCAA tournament is big business and a highly regulated event.

You may not notice watching on television, but the tournament brings its rules and restrictions to every venue, including Raleigh.

Take the tournament highlights, the NCAA restricts most television stations on how many minutes they can air each day.

“Even as the host institution, they get stepped on a little bit,” RBC General Manager Dave Olsen said.

Olsen said the RBC Center gladly jumps through hoops to host the tournament's first round.

“The NCAA is about as detailed an organization as you'll meet as far as what they want done,” he added.

The NCAA covered up N.C. State's name on the RBC's center-court. All the flashing advertisements and signs were wrapped in black plastic.

“Coke's a big sponsor. We even blacked out all of the coke machines,” Olsen said.

“They're all about policies,” WRAL sports anchor Bob Holliday said.

Holliday knows the NCAA rule book well. It keeps his camera off the court and his live reports outside. Even his drink cup must be sanctioned.

“The NCAA's solution, so as not to be giving free advertising to companies, is to not allow anything but an NCAA cup to be taken court-side,” Holliday said.

No Carolina Hurricanes merchandise is available for sale during the tournament, only NCAA trademark items.

“It doesn't bother me. But, I understand, this is business. It's all about making money,” N.C. State fan Ed White said.

“It's good for business. It's good for the community. It's good for N.C. State. It's good for Gale Force, the Hurricanes, and the RBC Center. When you have the number one seed at the RBC Center, it doesn't get any better than that,” Olsen said.

It is also an unwritten rule, the tournament should be referred to as NCAA, not NC double A.