Natasha Veeser
William Allen White School of Journalism & Mass Communications

Joint discussion to focus on role of athletics at the university level

Mon, 02/13/2012

LAWRENCE – The William Allen White School of Journalism and Mass Communications and Ecumenical Campus Ministries will host their second discussion, titled “The Media and Big-Time College Athletics: The View from the Sports Desk,” at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15, in the Big 12 Room of the Kansas Union. The discussion will focus on the role college athletics plays at the university level, with a specific look at the impact of the media.

This discussion will be led by three panelists: Dennis Dodd from, Blair Kerkhoff with the Kansas City Star and Steve Wieberg of USA Today. The panelists have spent a significant portion of their careers covering college games, the “behind the scenes” stories and issues that surround large collegiate football and basketball programs. The panel will be moderated by associate professor of journalism Max Utsler, who is also a former sports reporter and teaches a class about media and sports.

“I worry that a majority of sports fans don’t realize the gigantic budget growth in big-time college sports. The games we all love so much are becoming an endangered species,” Utsler said. “The media can play a large role in helping to secure the future, and our three panelists have been doing a great job in that area.”

The panelists will discuss their findings and experiences from years on the job as well as offer an interesting look into the future of collegiate sports, including its relationship with the media.

The first discussion of the semester took place Jan. 24-25, with Amy Perko, Knight Commission executive director and former associate athletics director for KU, serving as the presenter. The discussion series is part of a campuswide committee, the ECM University Community Forum on Higher Education and Athletics, with a goal to promote a discussion about collegiate athletics. The committee is looking to host one discussion each month, though dates and guests for March through May are still being confirmed.

The event is free and open to students and the community.

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