Tag Archives: Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism

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

Merrill College Videos Support Giving Day

Merrill College staff jump for joy to support Giving Day 2016. Photo by Jon Sham.

Merrill College staff jump for joy to support Giving Day 2016. Photo by Jon Sham.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Giving Day 2016 is upon us and the Philip Merrill College of Journalism needs everyone’s help to support scholarships, academic programs and campus initiatives for our students.  Donate until 3 a.m. March 4: go.umd.edu/gdjou

In a letter to alumni and friends of Merrill College, Dean Lucy Dalglish wrote, “We are in awe of the amazing amount of support we have already received today – thank you!”

The four areas specifically set for funding by Merrill College includes:

  • Capstones/News Bureaus and Gift Fund
  • Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism
  • Deans Fund
  • Penny Bender Fuchs Scholarship Fund

The 27 hour giving campaign features a number of challenge grants: including most faculty/staff gifts and alumni gifts. There was also one for best faculty/staff photo like the one on the right.

Merrill College Dean Lucy Dalglish and Associate Dean Rafael Lorente really got into the act with a great promotional video:

There was also a student contest – won by Stephen Barber:


Merrill College students took part with short videos thanking donors for their support – like Kimberly Escobar, Alex Kirshner and Michael Errigo.


And of course Merrill College faculty and staff got involved – * Award Winner – $500.00:

Animated Gif for Giving Day.

Thanks to everyone for supporting the Philip Merrill College of Journalism!




300 Maryland High School Journalism Students Set for J-Day Events at UMD

Merrill and MDCSPA Logos.

COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The Philip Merrill College of Journalism and the Maryland-DC Scholastic Press Association will welcome some 300 Maryland high school students and their advisers to campus Friday, Nov. 6 for J-Day. The day-long journalism program will take place primarily in Knight Hall and UMTV next door in Tawes Hall, but will also hold sessions in the Grand Ballroom of the Stamp Student Union as well as well as Jull Hall (Mathematics).

The day will start at the Stamp Student Union with a panel of four recent Merrill College graduates who now work in journalism: Dana Amihere ’12 M.J., interactive editor, Dallas Morning News; Morgan Gilliam ’13 M.A., producer of Capital Insider, NewsChannel 8; Jin Kim ’15 B.A., web producer, Baltimore Sun; and Jonas Shaffer ’12 B.A., general editor, sports department, Baltimore Sun. Moderator: Chris Harvey ’80, director of assessments and lecturer, Philip Merrill College of Journalism

Three concurrent sessions led by professional journalists and educators will follow with sessions on yearbook, print, online and social media journalism, and more.

Students and advisers will also be able to take tours of Merrill College, the Diamondback student newspaper and WMUC student radio station, or the Capital News Service broadcast facility (at UMTV/Tawes Hall). Advisers will have a chance to meet to network and discuss press freedom in Maryland and D.C. with Student Press Law Center Executive Director Frank LoMonte during one of the concurrent sessions.

Merrill College students will be part of panel discussions looking at what goes on behind the scenes of a college journalism major and sports journalism:

  • What’s it like to make the jump from high school to college reporting and multi-platform journalism? Panelists include: Maggie Gottlieb ’17, broadcast major; Brittany Cheng ‘17, multiplatform major; Alicia McElhaney ‘15, multiplatform major; and Jessie Karangu ‘16, broadcast major. Moderator: Sue Kopen-Katcef, broadcast bureau director at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism.
  • Four Merrill students describe their experiences covering sports in the Washington, D.C. region:  Michael Stern ‘17, co-founder of The Left Bench and business director, WMUC Sports; Andy Dunn ‘18, editor of The Left Bench, college soccer reporter for SBS, basketball reporter for DC Sports Box and video assistant for Maryland Athletics; Samantha Waldenberg ‘18, intern at Redskins.com, social media manager for TLB and broadcaster for WMUC Sports; and Marissa Morris ‘16, news director, WMUC Sports and staff member, Big Ten Network. Moderator: Beth Mechum, coordinator, The Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism, University of Maryland.

Knight Hall, Philip Merrill College of Journalism.Faculty presenters and moderators from the Philip Merrill College of Journalism include Professor Chris Hanson, CNS Broadcast Bureau Director and lecturer Sue Kopen Katcef, Adjunct Lecturer Sharon O’Malley, lecturer Josh Davidsburg, Director of Assessments and Lecturer Chris Harvey, Povich Center Coordinator Beth Mecham, Lecturer Bethany Swain, Ph.D. student April Newton, Ph.D. student and Adjunct Lecturer Rob Wells, and Associate Professor Ron Yaros.

Other sessions will include speakers from across the University of Maryland Campus, as well as from The Baltimore Sun,  Hyattsville Life and Times, Terp Magazine, The Student Press Law Center, Education Week, McClatchy Company, New Jersey Advance Media and Newark Star-Ledger, and The Annapolis Capital.

J-Day Program (PDF)

About the Philip Merrill College of Journalism

The Philip Merrill College of Journalism is one of the world’s leading journalism schools, with a distinguished faculty dedicated to enhancing the news industry and training the next generation of journalists in a state-of-the-art facility near the nation’s capital.

Merrill College educates students at the undergraduate, master’s and doctoral levels within a liberal arts context, preparing them for careers in journalism, media, research, teaching and related fields.  Merrill’s curriculum is one of the few in the nation focused solely on journalism – both broadcast and multiplatform – and its world-class faculty members have won numerous Pulitzer prizes and Emmy awards and conducted important media research.

About the Maryland-DC Scholastic Press Association

The Maryland-D.C. Scholastic Press Association is a non-profit organization that offers opportunities for advisers and students who wish to continue the tradition of journalistic excellence in Maryland and the Washington, D.C. area schools.

MDCSPA has a strong interest in scholastic free press issues, in supporting the rejuvenation of defunct journalism programs, in encouraging the creation of new programs, and in strengthening existing programs at area middle and high schools. Membership is free and available to all teachers and student staffs.

Through sponsorship and co-sponsorship, the Association works to provide professional development and training opportunities for students and media/journalism advisers, including conventions, contests, and summer programs. The Association works to develop and delivers opportunities in media/journalism education throughout the District of Columbia and Maryland while encouraging  schools from outside its region to participate as well.