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