This Spring, I’ve devoted considerable time to evaluating the sports broadcasting work of college students across the country. It’s part of STAA’s annual Jim Nantz Award and All-America program. I enjoy seeing which college sports broadcasting programs are on the rise…and which ones are slipping.
What Makes A Great Sportscasting School?
Top colleges for sports broadcasting are strong in at least five of the following seven areas:
- Quality of students’ work
The best schools turn out the most students who are best prepared for the job market.
- Internal competition
Instead of being given on-air reps, students compete to earn them.
- External competition
A university with pride in its sports broadcasting program should encourage students to apply for national recognition like STAA’s All-America program.
Competitive spirit. It makes you better.
- Peer support
Students helping, supporting, and genuinely caring about each other.
- Teaching employable skills
Things like play-by-play, sports anchor and reporting and digital media are employable skills. “Hot take” TV opinion programs are a waste of time. Positions on those shows go to established journalists, not recent grads.
- Alumni support
Receiving assistance from alumni who are working in the industry is a huge edge.
- Sustained excellence
Schools that consistently put graduates into the work force prove they are keeping up with the rapid changes in our industry.
With all that in mind…
The Top 5 Sports Broadcasting Schools In 2017
Students receive fabulous instruction, and the help they receive from alumni is second to none.
2. Arizona State
Turning out quality students in both radio and TV. Recent monetary gifts to the Cronkite School have ASU turning into the Syracuse of the West.
3. Ball State
Has burst onto the scene over the past four years and is getting stronger every year . . . Another great school for both radio and TV sportscasting.
Have been great for a lonnnng time, especially producing TV talent.
Between IU and Ball State, the Hoosier State is becoming as well known for great sportscasters as it is for great basketball players.
Four other schools that deserve mention are:
- Boston University
- Ohio U.
A Call To Compete
In 2013, we published a list of the Top 20 Sports Broadcasting Schools in the country. Many of the names on that list would not be on my Top 20 list today.
There are five schools that have traditionally been outstanding for sports broadcasting. However, their lack of participation in STAA’s All-America program in recent years is curious.
I hope that mentioning them here will stoke their competitive fires. They are…
- K-State (Disappointed that my alma mater, a school at which I’ve spoken to a sports broadcasting class in the past, didn’t have a single applicant.)
- University of Kansas
- University of Miami
In addition to K-State, I’ve spoken in recent years to classes at Arizona State, Indiana, TCU and Western Illinois, among others.
I’m glad to help any school that would like me to share sports broadcasting techniques with students. Online or in person. No charge.
I’ll tell you what we look for in the Nantz judging so your students can apply it.
I hope to see your school well represented in STAA’s 2018 Jim Nantz Award and All-America program.
Many folks who read this will say, “My school is one of the country’s top schools for sports broadcasting.” If you believe that about your school, please explain your reasoning in the comments section below. I promise to reply to all of them.