Focus on the Family Still Disappointed by NCAA Canceling Post-Tebow Ads

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 2, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Focus on the Family Still Disappointed by NCAA Canceling Post-Tebow Ads

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 2
, 2010

Indianapolis, IN ( — Focus on the Family officials are still disappointed by a decision by the NCAA to pull ads it paid to air on the NCAA college basketball web site that were part of a package of pro-life ads it purchased including the Tim Tebow Super Bowl ads airing on television via CBS.

The pro-life group had a hit with the ads featuring Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow and it received more than $10 million in free publicity before the Super Bowl ads aired in front of 106 million views.

But the NCAA, two weeks ago, dropped web banner advertisements from Focus on the Family from its championships web site The ads had been included on several CBS-managed Web sites as part of the package deal Focus purchased that included the Super Bowl ad.

"Focus on the Family did have a banner ad on Today, it was decided to remove the ad from the web site as a result of concerns expressed by our membership," Bob Williams, an NCAA spokesman, said in a statement.

Focus on the Family president Jim Daly says he is still surprised the ad was scrapped because it wasn’t focused on abortion or other contentious issues.

"I should point out the banner ad had nothing to do with the topic of abortion or sexuality or any other ‘hot button’ issue. It simply pictured a smiling Dad holding his happy son," he wrote in a blog post. "Naturally, those who clicked on the ad were introduced to the resources provided by Focus on the Family to help families thrive."

“All I want for my son is for him to grow up knowing how to do the right thing," the Dad in the advertisement says.

NCAA spokesman Williams also said the NCAA made its decision after some of its members—including faculty and athletic directors — expressed concern about some of Focus on the Family’s stances. Or, as Daly put it, “The decision to pull the ad was based not on the message but on the messenger.”

Within hours of the NCAA’s decision, hundreds of comments directed at Focus on the Family–many in poor taste–started hitting the blogosphere with some calling the pro-life group a “terrorist extremist group”, “evangelical scum”, “noxious bigots”, “Christo-Nazis”—even an “evangelical cult."

Daly replies: "All of which leaves me to scratch my head and wonder, isn’t tolerance supposed to be a two-way street? Those who disagree ideologically with us deserve our respect despite those disagreements. Shouldn’t we be afforded the same courtesy as we discuss issues that matter to families?"

"While I have respect for those who are reject the principles I believe in, I also should have the freedom to disagree with them while engaging in mutually civil discussion," he said.

Daly was also surprised by another comment from Williams, the NCAA spokesman.

He explained that advertisers can be excluded if they “do not appear to be in the best interests of higher education and student athletes.”

"I would love an opportunity to meet with Bob to discover how our message is inconsistent with" that statement, Daly said.

"Wouldn’t the world be a better place if more of us did the right thing, and isn’t wanting your child to know right from wrong something all parents aspire to teach their children?" he concluded.

ACTION: Contact the NCAA here. Or email [email protected], Call the NCAA Public Relations at 317-917-6762 or call the NCAA Main Number 317-917-6222.

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