The Bootleg "premium" board, which has evolved into a vibrant and entertaining community after more than a decade of existence, is a very special place. We want to keep it that way. People visit this board and "subscribe" because of the quality of the information, the civility of the exchange of ideas and opinions, and the occasional bit of humor and playful provocation. It has been a while since we felt we had to post guidelines, but in early 2012 it became apparent that a revisiting of boundaries would be in order. We are not trying to be excessively strict and we do want to preserve reasonable freedom of speech and encourage heartily the expression of opinions. We think it is time, however, to lay out some updated rules of engagement.
1. Please refrain from the use of profanity. We don't think this really needs an explanation. Use common sense, people. You are all intelligent enough to express yourselves without resorting to expletives. We know some of you may think this is excessive moderation, but once we let a little bit go, the envelope gets pushed and pushed until we do something about it. And please don't get cute and write "f---ing" – our posters are pretty sure they know what you mean and they (and their youngsters) don't need to see it from you. No profanity, period. It just makes things easier for everyone. If we see it, or see a post with profanity, the post will be deleted.
2. Please keep it "civil". People will always disagree. But we ask that you respectfully disagree. Let us state it again….."respectfully disagree". That means disagreeing with the content of a post, not attacking the poster, even if he or she is a nimrod or a dweeb. If your post is about a person posting instead of the topic at hand, or the topic is about an individual poster, it will be deleted. If you make it inappropriately personal, it will likely be deleted. No name-calling, mean-spirited insults, and personal attacks. It's the quickest way to have your post deleted. If you can't make your post without attacking or insulting a premium board poster (or a Stanford student-athlete or the family member of a Stanford student-athlete) or without calling them names, don't post it. Such behavior alienates people and affects the quality of the board. It also hurts the business of our company. We have recently experienced a few subscriber losses because a few persistent trouble-lovers seem to enjoy upsetting people and some of our more gentile subscribers get tired of reading the belligerent, testosterone-laced tirades.
3. Please don't hurt our program. We will not condone the posting of information that we feel damages the competitive advantage of the Stanford program or poses a potential compliance issue or a violation of Stanford Athletic Department policies, including the current policy regarding the status of injuries.
4. NCAA rules prohibit fan or "booster" correspondence with potential recruits. To protect both Stanford Athletics and the prospective student-athletes, we ask that our subscribers refrain from contacting or communicating with potential recruits or their families. This includes "private messages" on the BootBoards. Only designated representatives of Stanford Athletics, "non-boosters", our confirmed "non-booster" recruiting analysts and those with a bona fide preexisting relationship are allowed to make contact. Otherwise, please have the patience to wait for direct contact until the kids are enrolled as students.
5. Please don't abuse our people. Our extended team works hard at TheBootleg.com to make this one of the best sports sites on the internet. Playfully giving someone a hard time is perfectly fine, but it's not OK to abuse anybody out here, including the Bootleg staff. If you don't agree with the way we do things, "ez-inbox" us or email us in a civil tone and with a little patience. Businesses don't like to take care of customer service issues in the middle of the store. If you are being abusive, we'll delete the post and/or thread. Just give us a shout. We are always open to reason and will consider all good-faith suggestions.
6. Please do not copy and paste full articles into your posts. It's a violation of copyright laws. Please use links whenever possible. It is very easy to learn how – the tools are provided for you right in the message posting area . Also, don't take anything that is part of a "premium" post here and paste the content on another site. This information is for Bootleg subscribers only, and that needs to be respected at all times. People shouldn't be afraid to post info here without it being hijacked or posted on another board as locker room material.
7. Please do not post links to web sites or promote other businesses, even in signature lines. Some jokers in the past have made posts in the attempt to drive traffic and bring attention to other web sites. Links to legitimate media sources are fine, but attempts to drive traffic and bring attention to other businesses will be deleted. You may use "TOS" in reference to another network and its Stanford affiliate site. You may link to an article at another site, but please don't use this as a means of luring subscribers.
8. If you see a post that you think is beyond annoying and truly inappropriate, please click on the link on the right navigation bar to mark the post as "inappropriate". We average thousands of posts per month throughout the year . We can't read them all so we depend on the users to help with this. Also, don't abuse this feature. If a post is marked "inappropriate", we take a look at it. Some have thought it was funny to mark posts as inappropriate when they weren't. It causes more work for us. Again, please use good judgment and common sense.
9. Racism, bigotry, religious mockery and any other post that can be construed as "hateful" may result in the poster being "banned" without warning. The playful mocking, criticizing, and questioning of the legitimacy or integrity of certain other athletic programs like Cal, USC, Notre Dame (and Duke Basketball) will be viewed as acceptable for the most part (and in most cases very much encouraged). As Joel's mom once memorably said in 1985's Risky Business, "Just use your best judgement, we trust you!"
In conclusion, our expectations essentially come down to this: "Please don't be a jerk!". We really like (almost) all of you out the in the Cardinal sports community. Please respect our site and the well-intentioned endeavors of those who contribute to our unique community. We have worked hard to provide this resource to our fans - for the past 18 years! Do what you can to make this the place to be, the place to be heard, the place to share opinions and the place to give and gather sports-relevant information. That, as well as providing strong support to our teams , coaches, and beloved student-athletes, is what The Bootleg is all about.
Our thanks to Kim Grinolds and our friends at Dawgman.com (Scout's UW affiliate), from whom we obtained permission to borrow when putting together this update of our premium board rules.
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