The Shirley Povich Center For Sports Journalism
The Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism prepares students to be innovators and leaders in all facets of sports media. The center's unique, experiential curriculum and public programs elevate and amplify discussion of race, gender, politics and the world -- just as Shirley Povich did each morning in The Washington Post.
About Shirley Povich
Shirley Povich was an award-winning reporter and columnist at The Washington Post from 1923 to 1998. One of the most popular and respected writers in 20th century American journalism, Povich covered hundreds of major sports events during his 75-year career.
The Philip Merrill College of Journalism offers a variety of sports courses that provide students an opportunity to learn about sports coverage in the modern era. Students gain hands-on experience covering teams at the University of Maryland, as well as in Washington, D.C. and Baltimore.
The Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism hosts various panels and discussions throughout the year, bringing experts in the field to Merrill College to discuss current events and interact with students.
The center was made possible by a $1 million challenge gift from Shirley Povich’s children – Maury, Lynn and David – as well as support from other involved parties.
Povich Center Projects
Gambling on Campus (February 2023)
In collaboration with Merrill College’s Howard Center for Investigative Journalism, the Povich Center published “Gambling on Campus,” a wide-ranging investigation into universities and sports betting.
College students are in the highest risk group for problem gambling, yet the investigation shows universities have been slow to create policies, educational programs or restrictions on sports betting. That’s despite the aggressive expansion of sports gambling across the U.S. and abundant advertising at some college campuses.
The project was done in collaboration with PBS NewsHour, which aired two segments based on the reporting in the project. The Associated Press distributed the project nationally.
Unlevel Playing Fields (April 2022)
In collaboration with Merrill College’s Howard Center for Investigative Journalism, the Povich Center published “Unlevel Playing Fields,” an in-depth investigation into Title IX and high school sports as the landmark legislation celebrates its 50th anniversary in June.
Title IX, which passed in 1972, is a federal law that prohibits sex-based discrimination at any school that receives funding from the federal government, including in sports programs. While Title IX has led to a significant increase in girls playing scholastic sports, it has fallen short of achieving equity for high school girls in areas such as facilities, equipment, scheduling and publicity, the four-month, student-led investigation found.
The project was done in collaboration with PBS NewsHour, which aired a Title IX segment. The Associated Press, Just Women’s Sports and Word In Black published parts of the project.
- Associated Press Sports Editors, First place in the 2022 contest's Division C/D Projects category
- The Drake Group, Student Journalism Prize for Investigative Reporting on Intercollegiate Athletics
- Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Press Association, Second prize in contest's Division O (online-only) Investigative Reporting category
- Cited by the Women's Sports Foundation report, "50 Years of Title IX: We’re Not Done Yet"
Pushed Too Far (August 2021)
The first collaboration between the Povich Center and the Howard Center investigated the 22 Division I college football player deaths from exertion-related illnesses since 2000.
The primary causes of death for these incidents are sudden cardiac arrest, heatstroke and collapse from sickle-cell trait. The story explores the fact that football programs and coaches face few repercussions from institutions or the NCAA, even when they violate recommended safety precautions that might have prevented death. The story also examines measures taken by the NCAA to address the problem of exertional death.
The project -- reported by Professor of the Practice Kevin Blackistone’s Spring 2019 and Spring 2020 Sports Reporting and Writing classes, and master’s student Dan Novak -- was published by USA Today and by the Howard Center through Capital News Service.
Povich Center Faculty & Staff
Merrill’s Howard Center and Povich Center Publish First Collaboration, on College Football Deaths from Exertion-Related Illnesses
COLLEGE PARK -- The University of Maryland’s Howard Center for Investigative Journalism and Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism have teamed up for the first time to publish “Pushed Too Far,” an investigation into the 22 Division I college football player deaths from exe
By Matt Gilpin, Maryland Athletics Staff Writer With long bus rides, unglamorous meals, and hours upon hours of working, minor league baseball players have to scratch and claw every day to make their dreams come true. The University of Maryland has put a number of ballplayers into the minor leagues with the latest being pitcher Sean Burke and shortstop Benjamin Cowles. Not only has Maryland become a place that sends players to the next level, but it starts student broadcasters on their careers too.
COLLEGE PARK -- Lila Bromberg ‘21 has been named the winner of the 2021 Associated Press Sports Editors Student Contest, APSE announced May 25. Bromberg is the first University of Maryland student to receive the honor since the contest started in 2017.