Tag Archives: Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism

Povich Center Presents Lacy-Smith, Distinguished Terrapin Awards

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (Nov. 16) – The Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism honored former New York Times sports columnist Bill Rhoden with this year’s Lacy-Smith Award. Named for two pioneering African-American sports journalists, Sam Lacy and Wendell Smith, Rhoden is the third winner of the prestigious award. Previous winners were James Brown (2015) and Claire Smith (2014).

The award is just one of many presented during this year’s Povich Center Awards Luncheon Wednesday. The event is traditionally held the afternoon prior to the Povich Symposium.

Other award winners include:

  • Susan Fornoff ’79 and Jimmy Roberts ’79 are this year’s “Distinguished Terrapin” award winners.
  • Alan Bubes and Brit Kirwan – Special Recognition
  • Monica McNutt – Rising Star

The Povich Center also recognized four “All-Star Students” including Justin Meyer, Michael Stern, Kofie Yeboah and Callie Caplan.

Maury Povich with Bill Rhoden and George Solomon.

Maury Povich with Bill Rhoden and George Solomon.

Lacy-Smith Award Winner
Bill Rhoden, who retired from The Times this past July, spent a career writing about race, inclusion and justice, just as the late sportswriters Sam Lacy and Wendell Smith, for whom the award is named.

  • After growing up in Chicago, Rhoden attended and graduated from Morgan State University in Baltimore, went to work at the Baltimore Afro-American where he was mentored by Sam Lacy, the newspaper’s sports editor.
  • He later worked four years at Ebony Magazine and three years at The Baltimore Sun before joining The New York Times in 1981 as a copy editor on the Sunday Week in Review section.
  • Rhoden has also written a number of books, including the widely acclaimed “Forty Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall and Redemption of the Black Athlete” and accumulated countless television and film credits.

Watch the video. Introduction by Maury Povich:



Special Recognition

Kevin Blackistone with Brit Kirwan and George Solomon.

Kevin Blackistone with Brit Kirwan and George Solomon.

Brit Kirwan is a nationally recognized authority on critical issues shaping the higher education landscape. Prior to his 13 years as chancellor of the University System of Maryland, Kirwan served as president of Ohio State University for four years and president of the University of Maryland, College Park for 10 years.

  • He was also a member of the University of Maryland faculty for 24 years. Kirwan chairs the National Research Council Board of Higher Education and Workforce and co-chairs the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics.
  • He also serves on the Business-Higher Education Forum. He is a member of the boards of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce, Greater Baltimore Committee, Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore, Maryland Business Roundtable for Education, and other organizations.
  • Kirwan received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Kentucky and his master’s and doctoral degrees in mathematics from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.
Alan Bubes with Maury Povich.

Alan Bubes with Maury Povich.

Alan Bubes is a native Washingtonian. Alan attended High School at Sidwell Friends and received a B.S. from Georgia Tech. He has spent the last 30 years as President and CEO of Linens of the Week, one of the largest Linen Suppliers to the Food Service Industry in the country until the recent sale of his business.

  • Bubes is a lifelong follower of sports in the Washington area, where he has been an avid fan and supporter. Alan is active in many charities with a special interest in sports, education and children in the city.
  • He also is a supporter of the Landon School, St. Andrew’s School, the Lab School where his three children Nathan, Elizabeth and Andrew attended.
  • Alan is married to Nancy Taylor Bubes, a well-known community leader and realtor in the Washington D.C. area. He supports the Shirley Povich Sports Journalism Summer Camp.

Distinguished Terrapins

Susan Fornoff ’79 with Emeritus Professor Maureen Beasley.

Susan Fornoff ’79 with Emeritus Professor Maureen Beasley.

Susan Fornoff ’79 started her illustrious sports journalism career as sports editor of The Diamondback. She then worked at the Baltimore News American and was part of the original sports staff at USA Today until1985. She was hired by the Sacramento Bee to cover the Oakland A’s.

  • In 1986, she became known as “The Rat Lady” after a player sent her a gift-wrapped rat to bring attention to what he considered to be the injustice of women entering the clubhouse; that backfired, ultimately costing him his job and motivating her to join three other women sportswriters in forming the Association for Women in Sports Media in 1987.
  • The baseball writing experience inspired her to write a memoir called “Lady in the Locker Room. After the success of the book she went on to work in media relations for World Cup Soccer, the San Francisco Examiner and then Chronicle  as news copy desk editor, sports copy desk editor, golf writer, real estate section staffer, features copy editor, home-and-garden reporter, general feature writer, and, finally, travel editor.
  • In 2010, she founded GottaGoGolf as a media company for women who play golf for fun. She lives in Littleton, Colo. where she offers writing services, content marketing, thought leadership and custom publishing for PR professionals.

Sue Kopen Katcef with Jimmy Roberts ’79 and George Solomon.

Jimmy Roberts ’79 began his journalism career as a writer for his high school newspaper and later graduated from the University of Maryland. Roberts is a 13-time Emmy Award-winning broadcaster and writer known most recently for his work on NBC and Golf Channel as an essayist, interviewer, feature reporter and studio host.

  • He is a fixture on NBC and Golf Channel’s coverage of the PGA TOUR and other high-profile golf events, including the Ryder Cup. Roberts joined NBC Sports Group in May 2000 after a long career at ABC and ESPN in which he won 11 Sports Emmy Awards.
  • In 2009, Harper Collins published Roberts’ first book, Breaking the Slump, which deals with how some of the best golfers to ever play the game dug themselves out of dry spells.
  • Roberts served as an Olympic correspondent during the 2016 Rio Olympics. Rio was his 16th Olympic assignment. He lives in the New York area with his wife, Sandra, and their three sons.

Past award winners are

Bonnie Bernstein (Campus Insiders Vice President of Content and Brand Development), Scott Van Pelt (ESPN commentator and Reporter), Tim Brant (WJLA-TV Vice President of Sports), Christy Winters-Scott (former Maryland women’s basketball player and Big Ten Network, Washington Mystics and Wizards analyst), Chick Hernandez (Anchor/Reporter/Host Comcast SportsNet/NBC Sports), Tina Cervasio (Sports Broadcaster) and Ike Richman (Vice President of Public Relations at Comcast Spectacor).

George Solomon with Monica McNutt.

George Solomon with Monica McNutt M.J. ’13.

Rising Star

Monica McNutt M.J. ’13 of The American Sports Network is the 2016 “Rising Star” awardee, an award created by the Povich Center to honor a young alum who is progressing and succeeding in the sports journalism field.

  • McNutt is the second recipient of the award. McNutt, a native of the DMV area, started her journalism career while an undergraduate at Georgetown University writing a blog for The Washington Post on life as a student-athlete.
  • After her stellar basketball career at Georgetown ended, she decided to pursue journalism full-time and enrolled in the Master’s program at Philip Merrill College.
  • After graduating in 2013, McNutt was a sports reporter for News Chanel 8 in Washington D.C. covering local sports. She is now a reporter/anchor for the American Sports Network located in West Palm Beach, Florida.


All-Star Students

Merrill students Justin Meyer, Kofi Yeboa, Michael Stern, Callie Caplan.

Merrill students Justin Meyer ’17, Kofi Yeboa ’17, Michael Stern ’17 and Callie Caplan’17.


Callie Caplan ’17 spent her time at Merrill College working her way up the ranks at The Diamondback, Maryland’s independent student-newspaper. During her senior year, Caplan is both a sports editor and a senior staff writer. She was the recipient of the AWSM internship in the Summer of 2016 when she worked at USA Today. She also covers high school sports for The Washington Post.

Justin Meyer ’17 is the Editor in Chief of The Left Bench the co-business director as well as a broadcaster of WUMC Sports. He has written for The Columbus Dispatch and Testudo Times.

Michael Stern ’17 is the Business Director of the Left Bench and the Sports Director of WUMC Sports. He is also a multimedia reporter for the Capital News Service. He has previously worked for USA Today, NBC News and WTOP.

Kofie Yeboa’ 17 is the Director of Personnel at The Left Bench, an assistant editor at ESPN’s The Undefeated. He has previously written for The Huffington Post, USA Today Sports and ESPNU and interned at D.C. United.

Beth Mechum

About the Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism:

The Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism is based at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism. The Povich Center is a resource for journalists, academics and the public who want to explore the complex role of sports in society. The Center is led by its director, George Solomon, who was assistant managing editor for sports at the Washington Post from 1975-2003.

Povich Symposium Looks at The Future of Sports & TV

George Solomon is the director of the Povich Sports Center at the University of Maryland.

George Solomon oversees the Povich Sports Center.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. (Nov. 9) – The 11th-annual Shirley Povich Sports Symposium takes a deep look at where sports coverage is going on television. With viewership issues, player indiscretions, even the pervasiveness of sports programing on broadcast, cable and online, there will be plenty to talk about.

As always, the Povich Symposium is free and no ticket is required.

The Nov. 16 event will be held in the Colony Ballroom of the Stamp Student Union starting at 7:00 p.m.

Directions to the Stamp Student Union.

For more information contact:

Beth Mechum
Coordinator, Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism

The Future of Sports & TV

Moderated by Maury Povich


John Skipper; President, ESPN

Jimmy Roberts ’79; Broadcaster, NBC Sports

Andrea Kremer; Chief Correspondent, NFL Network

Jim Delany; Commissioner, Big Ten

Scott Van Pelt, Host, ESPN’s SportsCenter

David Aldridge, Reporter, Turner Sports

George Solomon on Pat Summitt: A Lifetime Promoting Women’s Basketball

Pat Summitt with women's basketball player.Pat Summitt with player.

Thanks to Tennessee Journalist at flickr.com for the picture.

By George Solomon
Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism

(Reprinted from the Povich website.)

What many people did not know about Pat Summitt, who died Tuesday at age 64 from early onset dementia, was how hard she tried to sell the game of women’s college basketball.

That she won 1,098 games at the University of Tennessee, most by any college coach, man or woman, seemed almost secondary to how she spent a lifetime trying to interest sports fans in her game.

Washington Post sports columnist Sally Jenkins, who wrote three books with Summitt and was a close friend,  would bring Summitt into the sports department of The Washington Post whenever Summitt was in D.C. for a coaches’ meeting or game against George Washington University.

Summitt loved to push the individuals on her team, or the game itself, and would enjoy the give-and-take with sports journalists. “Would it hurt to give the Maryland or GW women more than a  paragraph and box score?” she would needle. “What’s the harm?”

For years Summitt would bring her talented, highly rated Vols to the GW’s Smith Center to play Joe McKeown’s Colonials. The Colonials usually would play the superior Volunteers well, losing at the end, but exciting the Washington fans.

“Pat Summitt left a legacy that will never be forgotten,” said McKeown in a statement. “Pat was a great friend, a legend, a mentor and a pioneer for women’s sports, her impact goes far beyond the athletic world. She did so much for so many. I am lucky to have had the opportunity to be around her, to compete against her and to learn from her.”

The same two teams would play the following year in Knoxville, with Tennessee winning comfortably. After these games Summitt would stay until the last question was asked and then she’s ask some questions of her own.

“Why come to D.C?” Summitt was often prodded. “Because it’s the capital of the country and maybe some people will enjoy what we show them,” she replied, with a twinkle in her eye. “We can play; GW can play. We get a good crowd, and some of the fans will come back if they liked what they saw.”

Summitt was funny, feisty, competitive and tough. She knew many people looked down at women’s basketball and it upset her.  She cared about her sport and knew how to sell.

She knocked on doors, made telephone calls and made it her business to know the writers and broadcasters. She remembered names; not all do.

But she liked Sally Jenkins most, who like Pat Summitt was funny, feisty, competitive and tough. Summitt could coach. Jenkins could write. They were a perfect match, broken up much too soon.

Read More: Visiting Professor Kevin Blackistone writes about Pat Summitt in the Washington Post. He says “Pat Summitt earned respect for women’s sports, but we still aren’t giving it.”

Merrill College: Fearless Journalism

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – What does Fearless Journalism mean at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism? We’ve given that a lot of thought – and we think that for our potential – and current – Merrill journalists, there’s a lot to say about what we will teach you and ultimately, how you will practice as a working journalist going into the future. Never has there been a time that required more from journalists. The training you will receive here – everything from investigative journalism to sports –  will make a difference. It will make you a fearless journalist.

Here’s what Fearless Journalism means:

  • The relentless search for what is true and meaningful;
  • The willingness to question conventional wisdom;
  • The courage to ask tough but fair questions;
  • The ability to set our own news agenda, and not follow that of others;
  • The perseverance to not give up when there are those who would deter you from pursuing a story;
  • The spirit to experiment with various modes of storytelling on many platforms;
  • The independence to hold the powerful accountable;
  • The wisdom to give voice to the powerless;
  • The vision to shape the agenda.

(Thanks to Jay Kernis ’74 and Chris Frates ’00)

There’s more!

Watch our new Fearless Journalism video that explains all the great classes, tools, experiences – in and out of class – that you’ll have here at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism:


Thanks to Ralph Crosby ’46 , John Seng ’79, David Butler (Butler Films) and Alanna Delfino ’14 for making this video possible.


Real-World Experience Has Impact for Merrill Students

Merrill students in JOUR368Y with NBC4 sports reporter Carol Maloney perfore her pre-game live shot.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland is uniquely situated between two major sports markets that offer wide-ranging opportunities for Merrill College student to get real-world experience as reporters. Whether traveling to Indianapolis for the BIG10 Tournament or covering the Redskins and Ravens as credentialed sports journalists, Merrill students learn by doing.

Povich Visiting Professor Kevin Blackistone and Povich Sports Center Director George Solomon take their classes to cover the Nationals and other sporting events. Merrill adjuncts are actively involved as well in making sure what’s taught in the classroom is brought home real-time at sporting events from field hockey to football. For instance, Adjunct Dave Owens routinely takes his classes to sporting events where they can practice reporting and life shots.

Recently, Adjunct Lecturer Joe Yasharoff ’87 took his JOUR368Y sports producing class to a Terp basketball game at XFINITY Center – where they had a chance to not only cover the game as credentialed media, but talk with beloved Terps sportscaster Johnny Holliday and his color commentator Chris Knockey, NBC4 Sports Reporter Carol Maloney and her photographer Dan Buckley as well as Maryland Basketball Sports Information Director Zack Bolno. They also got to see the XFINITY Control Room where the games are broadcast and attend a post-game news conference.

Shots by Joe Yasharoff of his JOUR368Y class at a recent Terps vs. Illinois basketball game

Photos by Joe Yasharoff ’87 of his JOUR 368Y sports producing class at the Terps vs. Illinois game they covered.

The students were asked to write short comments about their experiences and here’s what they had to say:

It was a great experience and I learned a lot about all that goes into covering a sporting event. From live shots with Carol Maloney to the radio play-by-play with Johnny Holliday, we got the chance to see how all these elements work in tandem to create a live broadcast and packages for the nightly news. My biggest take away was that this is definitely the career that I want to pursue.- Junior Miya Treawell

As a student, this is absolutely one of, if not the best experience I have had in my 4 years. Obviously there is a lot you can learn in a classroom but being at a game and working and covering the game as a real in the moment job has given me more knowledge and experience than 5 days in a classroom. That statement is no discredit to any of my professors, it is just a hyperbole as to how profound the experience was to get to be court side and behind the scenes. If the opportunity is there for future classes and future students, I hope they get to do the same thing because it was absolutely unforgettable. – Senior Alec Milton

While I’ve called a lot of games on press row for WMUC Sports, this was the first time I’ve ever gotten to meet the legendary Johnny Holliday. Live game broadcasting is one of the things I might possibly look into doing after my time in school, so it was just a really cool experience to meet him, talk to him about how he prepares for the game, and even sneak a little peek at his sheet that he uses to help him call the game. Seeing Carol Maloney do a live shot before the game and seeing her scramble when not everything went according to plan was a fun thing to see because it showed me that you always have to think on your feet because things won’t always go according to plan. – Junior Thomas Pullano

Overall it was just an incredible experience. We met such great people, journalists who are great at what they do and genuinely interested in helping us out however they can.  I wish I had been able to do something like this sooner than now in my last semester at Maryland. Thanks to Joe for taking the extra time to bring us there. Hands-on experience is obviously invaluable. – Senior Danielle Ling

Last week, we went to the Maryland-Illinois game as a class and learned how to cover a live game for television.  This was an invaluable experience, and I am so grateful for it.  You can learn about how to cover a game in your classes, but it doesn’t actually compare to being there and actually doing it.  The experience was also a great opportunity to meet and learn from professionals in the field.  For example, we got to watch Carol Maloney from NBC4 do her live shot and prep for her game coverage, and she had time that she could give us advice on how to do the job successfully as well. In addition to learning just how to cover the game for television, it was also an awesome chance to learn about the other media jobs a live sporting events.  We went into the Xfinity Center control room, where Ed Clark gave us the rundown on the in-house show that they produce for the video boards.  We also met the sports information director and Johnny Holliday, and they were able to give us insight about their jobs, which was great because it gave us an idea of other jobs we could potentially pursue in the future. Overall, it was definitely a great experience, and I would definitely recommend that other journalism classes provide students with similar opportunities to be out in the field and practice what they learn. – Junior Lauren Bork