By Adam Kolb / Co-Sports Editor
Streaming services can be a simple and inexpensive way to watch live events from a computer, phone or tablet. With that being said, these services also can bring about fear, anxiety, and a feeling of invasion on a person’s private information.
Recently, there have been multiple reports of a streaming service that has been offering video of NJCAA sporting events, including events at Hutchinson Community College, that have made college administrators feel that sense of fear and confusion.
On Facebook there was a post with a link to watch the Blue Dragon volleyball team play Colby from services called Filem and Ajag Sports.
Another post from Ben Sports let fans know that they could watch the Blue Dragon men’s basketball team take on Dodge City, if they click on their link.
The Collegian was tagged and requested to co-host each stream. The Collegian has ignored all such requests.
Denny Stoecklein, Director of Marketing and Public Relations at Hutchinson Community College, is urging fans to resist the urge to click on these links and be wary of them.
“Our concern is motivated by the suspicious nature of the posts,” Stoecklein said, “prompting us to issue the reminder that one should make sure they are linking to our events only from an official HutchCC source.”
While it is not known the dangers these services could provide, there have been speculations that the links could cause a virus, which raises even more concerns. And, according to Stoecklein, HutchCC isn’t the only school affected by these streaming services.
“We are aware of dozens of other schools throughout the country that are experiencing this same issue,” Stoecklein said. “Most, if not all, of the instances we’ve seen are utilizing the NJCAA logo, and it is our understanding the NJCAA legal counsel has been working with Facebook to try and remedy.”
Christopher Parker, President and CEO of the NJCAA posted a message on Twitter to fellow NJCAA members, stating, “It has come to our attention that a variety of companies have made spurious efforts via Facebook and Twitter to reflect a partnership with the NJCAA and/or NJCAA member institutions in an attempt to acquire credit card information and payment in exchange for access to NJCAA streams.”
Parker also states in his warning that these links are “fraudulent” and that institutions should “take immediate action.”
Taking immediate action is exactly what’s been done at HutchCC, with the college blocking these streaming service pages and reporting them to Facebook, as well as declining any invitation for the college to co-host an upcoming event. Despite the fact that most of these instances have appeared on the main college Facebook page, they have been happening on other platforms as well, all the more reason to be aware of these links and only use reliable sources, such as Hutchinson Community College, Blue Dragon Sports, the NJCAA or the KJCCC.