A quick thank you to Community EDs from ESPN
and the moderator from the Prospero messageboards group who have communicated with me about the situation concerning the ESPN WCBB Messageboard.

A quick recap.
Over the past few weeks several posters as fans of both UConn and UT have seen posts deleted and have been banned for 24 hours for no apparent reason.
The situation began when Slewbopper joined by Glenn MacGrady posted requests for ESPN WCBB message board participants to use the REPORT VIOLATION utility on any post made by the poster known as "Ladyvolsrbest08", "parker08", "ladyvolsrchamps08", and a hundred variations on those names and any post that I made.
Glenn MacGrady tried his best to convince ESPN WCBB Message board participants that I was the same poster as the one using these hundred screen names. From Mid-December through January many of my posts were deleted using this method. It seemed that the moderators did not bother to read the posts but simply deleted everything that was reported.

After pointing out this problem to Community EDs I was contacted by a moderator for Prospero who has exchanged several e-mails with me.
Here are a couple of things all participants on the ESPN WCBB boards need to know.
1) Posters who report excessive violations will be "flagged"
2) Attacks on public figures like announcers are not considered fair game and they can be reported and deleted. This was a surprise to me.
3) There are live moderators despite the assumption by some that there were none.
4) Now at least one of these moderators has been made aware of the situation.

A post of mine called CRYSTAL BALL was deleted in the past few days and it can be read just as it was posted below this post on this weblog. It obviously did not violate any rule. The moderator deleted the entire thread and asked that I repost it as I did.

Thank you Community EDs and Mr. Moderator for taking the time to look into the situation.
Hopefully the ESPN WCBB messageboard participants will now refrain from using the 'Report Violation' utility to try to eliminate posts that are within the rules just to discourage posters who might disagee with their point of view.

Good participants like cferraro, VolAddict, Chaffon, and others have found themselves banned for 24 hours or with deleted posts that were not in violation and it's time these campaigns by certain posters to eliminate opponents by reporting good posts as violations were stopped.
I hope Slewbopper and MacGrady got the message.

and I suggest that ESPN and the messageboard moderators see fit to clarify the rules publicly
by stating that misuse of the 'REPORT VIOLATION' utility will not be tolearated
and making it known that public personalities are not considered fair game on the message board.

Recent post to the ESPN WCBB Board
What I have learned
First I made a post on The LadyVols Weblog to cover this in case it disappears
That post is particularly complimentary to the Moderator and Community EDS for their communication with me on this subject.

This forum is run by PROSPERO - a well known forum operator and the moderation is done by them not ESPN.
so they are paid by ESPN
they get the advertising $$$ by using the ESPN name in an agreement
at any rate it is profitable for Prospero.

Of some nearly 2000 posts over 6 years I have been banned some 6 or 8 times
some of those were deserved when I replied in kind or in anger
I have had maybe 20 posts deleted
This has increased dramatically since mid-December when some people decided to target me as responsible for "ladyvolsrbest08" and all of his incarnations.

Community EDS is a responsible ESPN agent who was kind enough to communicate about this issue
Community EDS had a moderator contact me by email
and that EMAIL was from PROSPERO

The moderator sent a post I made about Nancy Liberman which was indeed a catty personal comment about her announcing - that post was deleted and I was banned for 24 hours for making the comment.
I responded that I did not think personal comments about public figures were bannable offenses.
I was told I was wrong about that
I suggested that the RULES clearly show that 'personal attacks' are not allowed no matter who they are directed toward.

I sent an email making the moderator aware of the plan issued by some to use the REPORT VIOLATION button to eliminate unwanted posters.
I was told that indiscriminate use of the REPORT VIOLATION button would result in an account being flagged.

Here is what I think everyone who wants a fair and open forum should do
Keep a record of posts and threads that disappear.
I now keep a copy of my posts for a week and certain time consuming posts like the CRYSTAL BALL post or HOME COURT ADVANTAGE are also posted to my blog on the ESPN PROFILE.
When a thread or post disappears without cause it should be reported.
I cannot post how to report it here but I will let cferraro and VolAddict know who and how if they want to take the time to pass these reports on to the proper person.
Maybe VandyWhit should do it.

Maybe we can get this to stop
I am obviously not the person to do the reporting
but cferraro for UConn and VolAddict for UT should be respected enough to do the right thing. If anyone thinks there should be someone else say so now.

I don't think ESPN realizes that PROSPERO uses a BOT to decide these issues
PROSPERO should upgrade the BOT if they are going to use it.
I'm relatively certain that there are only a few paid moderators at PROSPERO to handle 100's of message boards.

I think we all want a place where we can argue on equal footing
Where no one group can decide the fate of any single poster
no matter how much they disagree with what that poster has to say
we should all respect the right to say it.




    The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, no matter what he does.--C. S. Lewis

    With only 10 or 12 games remaining on each teams regular season schedule it is now possible to make some reasonable predictions as to the outcome of the rest of the season prior to the start of conference tournaments and the invites for the BIG Dance

    Barring further injury or academic/behavioral loss we've seen what the teams are capable of doing. Given the schedules and hopeful that there are no more games with glaring discrepancies in fouls called we can weight the home court advantages and the strenghts of the current teams and make a fairly educated gusss as to the outcome

    So here's a shot at prognostication

    1) TENNESSEE - 28-1 (Duke in Durham is the biggest obstacle and the Blue Devils have improved but I think not enough to handle the Lady Vols - the next biggest test is LSU but that game is at TBA where two fairly evenly matched teams give UT the benefit of home court advantage

    2) MARYLAND 29-2 (UNC in Chapel Hill coming up should be the last loss of the season for the excellent Terrapins who also play Duke in Durham with much the same outcome as Tennessee

    3/4) Connecticut 27-2 ( Predicting UConn to lose at the RAC on Feb 5 and the PMAC on Feb 25 after managing a close win at ND and at home with RU.

    3/4) Baylor 27-2 (The toughest conference to predict is the Big 12 but since Baylor handled Oklahoma in Norman I expect they will do the same in Waco but there are 4/5 teams in the Big 12 that can play well enough on any given night to beat any other team
    Baylor could easily lose 2 or 3 more. Baylor is a strange team losing by 24 to Stanford and beating Oklahoma in Norman by 11 and Cal by 15. But A&M & Texas seem to be falling apart and they handled Oklahoma. Seems like OK State is the only real threat so I'm going with Baylor to win out barely with several squeakers.

    5) ODU 27-3 (No way ODU is the 5th best in the country - they aren't even top 12 but their record will be 27-3 and they could easily end up ranked here above a few teams with four losses like:
    5A) LSU 25-4 (Will run the table except for their trip to TBA)
    5B) Rutgers 25-4(Will lose at TBA and in Hartford or Storrs to UConn)
    5C) Stanford 23-4 (Will win both games with CAL)
    5D) UNC 25-4 (Loses to MD and Duke on the road)
    9) CAL 25-4 (Drops two to Stanford)
    10,11) Wyoming, George Washington (Wy may have a 1 loss record GW only 4 losses)
    12-19) WVA, ND, UGA, Vandy, Okla State, Oklahoma, Duke all end up with 6 or 7 losses

    NCAA Tournament seeds
    1 Tennessee vs 8 Stanford - New Orleans
    2 Maryland vs 7 Rutgers - Greensboro
    3 UConn vs 6 LSU - Oklahoma City
    4 Baylor vs 5 UNC - Spokane

    3 seeds
    CAL, ODU, Oklahoma, WVA
    4 seeds
    Wyoming, GW, WVA, OK State

    Final Four
    UT over Stanford
    Maryland over Rutgers
    LSU over UConn
    UNC over some lower seeded team that eliminates Baylor like CAL or Wyoming or ODU

    LSU over Maryland
    Tennessee over UNC

    LSU VS TENNESSEE for the National Championship