Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Class Update

Howdy. A couple notes to add on to what was posted previously.

1. Right now, the class is assigned to a classroom at Webster Groves HS, which is without internet access. I'm working on getting that changed to a 'smart' classroom, preferably in the Sverdrup Building, as at least some of the class will be devoted to study and criticism of the websites and media content and coverage of various athletic entities. If/when the classroom is changed, we'll update you.

2. I'm finalizing our guest speaker list and have the first confirmation - Erica Stelling, Director of Communications for the St. Louis-based Missouri Valley Conference. Erica, who graduated from and then worked at the finest land-grant institution in the country (Illinois State University - this is a link to their athletics homepage), has been with the Valley since 2003 and will talk about her daily duties, how she got into the field, internship opportunities, etc. More speakers will be announced in the very near future.

3. I've gotten a couple of inquiries regarding what kind of homework load you'll be looking at each week. Expect a weekly writing assignment of one to two pages in length, many in the form of press releases, media notes and the like, as well as some reading - one or two chapters from the book and either a handout or web-based information; for instance, maybe the pre- and post-game press releases from a University of Missouri football game.

Finally, a couple links for you to peruse at your leisure, courtesy of espn.com:

1. When a major conference football program (for instance, North Carolina State) has a home game with a lightly regarded mid-major program (like, the Zips of Akron), that
is usually called a 'cupcake' in football scheduling vernacular, with most anyone expecting the home team to eat up the lowly visitors. Sometimes, though, the cupcake bites back, in this case with a 20-17 victory. That is usually embarrassment enough for the athletic program; it gets worse for Sports Information personnel and the rest of the institution when the head coach gets going with the sour grapes by decrying the academic credentials of the victors (especially when Akron graduates 10% more of its players than NC State does).

2. We all know the NFL is big, big, big money, right? Check out just how big in the first few paragraphs of the current Tuesday Morning Quarterback, Gregg Easterbrook's superlative weekly column on the week that was in the NFL.