Journalism Students Attend Sports Symposium At UMD

Avalon Journalism students expressed indifference about their experience at the University of Maryland’s annual Shirley Povich Symposium on November 13.

Student’s whished, that it focused more towards the journalism side of sports. “I was a little disappointed that it was not about journalism really… Still, it was kind of interesting to hear about some of the innovations that are being proposed,” Said Journalism student Thomas Bonatti.

The event titled “Our Sports: A Look at the Area Sports Scene,” featured discussions on the future of sports in the Washington, D.C. region as well as look into the area’s sports history.

Talk show host Maury Povich moderated the event which is now in its seventh year.  He is the son of the late Washington Post sports writer Shirley Povich.

The panel was made up of eight prominent Washington area sports figures including former Maryland basketball coach Gary Williams and ESPN commentator Scott Van Pelt. Approximately 600 people attended the event held at the university’s Stamp Student Union.

“It was an interesting experience, nothing like anything I’ve done before,” Stated Journalism student Zach Jensen.

Among the most popular topics of the evening, improving a fan’s game day experience stood out. All members on the panel agreed changes are needed at the ballpark to get fans off the couch and into the stadium.

“It has to be unique being at the arena and at the stadium, you can’t sit in your living room and get that feeling,” said Williams.

Panelist Randy Boe, vice president of Monumental Sports and Entertainment, said his company is developing software that would allow fans to use their smartphones to look at replays or even order concessions from their seats.  MSE owns the Wizards, Capitals and Mystics.

Many Avalon students said that this was their favorite part of the symposium. Some Students regret not asking question during the open questions section of the symposium which was closer to the end.

The discussion swiftly changed to UMD’s sports teams, “I think Maryland is challenged to have to fight with [other local sports teams],” said Van Pelt, who compared the schools situation to one much like it in the California bay area.

“We have to help Maryland football win,” said Williams, who went on to say that putting fans in the stadium plays a role when the school is recruiting.

Some students were much more enthusiastic about the Symposium, “It was awesome to hear the inside views some of the panelists had,” said Avalon senior Patrick Stoll “I’m really glad I went it was worthwhile.”

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