Students in fall 2020 had the challenge of covering sports from their bedrooms. COVID-19 meant that interviews happened on Zoom and covering games meant live streaming rather than going to a press box. But students weren’t deterred. They covered college and pro sports on deadline from their homes. They wrote profile stories about Towson athletes, including a football player, women’s basketball player, men’s lacrosse player and twin sisters on the women’s lacrosse team.
They worked in teams of two or three on an enterprise story on sports in the age of COVID-19.
Students in fall 2019 began the semester by covering two Baltimore Orioles games — including Towson night — at Camden Yards.
Every student contributed to a season preview for the 2019-2020 Towson men’s and women’s basketball season, including articles on X’s and O’s, scheduling and — for the women’s team — the quest to repeat as conference champions.
As part of the preview, student wrote features on some of the top men’s and women’s basketball players. Students then covered the men’s and women’s opening-night doubleheader against Penn State (women’s) and George Washington (men’s).
Students also conducted group interviews with and wrote profile stories on four prominent Towson athletes, including Josh Seils (baseball), Jeff Miller (football), Jenna Florenzo (field hockey) and Q Murray (basketball).
For their final project, students teamed up to report enterprise stories on what it’s like to be a sports fan in the digital age, including stories on how fans cut the cord consume sports on a range of platforms, how the NFL RedZone caters to thrill-seeking sports fans, how sports fans attempt to use social media to communicate with athletes, how online sports gambling is booming and how football dominates the fantasy sports landscape.
Students in fall 2017 began the semester with a bang — covering Towson football’s intrastate battle with the Maryland Terrapins. Towson’s kickoff and pass coverage was weak, but students’ coverage all week for the Baltimore Watchdog was strong.
Students previewed the game from a number of angles. One writer interviewed his counterpart at Maryland’s student newspaper, The Diamondback, about what he expected that Saturday. Others focused on Xs and Os, positional matchups and the fresh faces at quarterback for both teams.
Yet another writer examined which team had the recruiting edge in Maryland and surrounding states.
And two other writers looked off the field at how students who grew up in Maryland decided whether to root for Maryland or Towson.
Students sat in the Capitol One Field at Maryland Stadium press box and live tweeted during the game.
Afterward, they went to each locker room for press conferences and individual player interviews.
On deadline, they filed game stories, analyses and features from the Towson and Maryland perspective. The final word came from reporerts who examined what Towson gained (quite a bit) from playing the Terps even with the blowout loss.
Students covered another soccer first: Professional indoor team Baltimore Blast’s first-ever home game at SECU Arena on Towson’s campus. Team representatives visited class for a press conference, and students produced written and audio preview stories.
Students also covered the game live, using Apple Clips to create video recaps of the game.
Toward the end of the semester, students teamed up to produce 10-minute narrative podcasts about the sport of goalball, which is popular among visually impaired athletes.
The final project required students to pitch, report, and produce enterprise sports stories. Topics included the lack of Latino sports journalists, the concussion crisis in youth football, the future of technology in umpiring and cord cutting among young sports fans.
Students talked about their enterprise stories in podcasts with the professor.
Spring 2016 sports writing students spent the semester creating content for the course website, which they voted to name Overtime TU.
The 12 writers, each of whom has a landing page on the website, created sports blogs about niche topics of interest to them: superstitions, celebrations, athletes’ hairdos, fantasy sports, sports gambling, sports stadiums, Premier League soccer, unsung NCAA hoops heroes, the state of college baseball in Maryland, and women in sports media. Listen to podcasts in which we discuss their blog topics:
In addition to taping the podcasts, students each wrote several posts, including columns, rankings, mailbag questions, point-counterpoints and satire.
Students also pitched, researched and wrote enterprise stories on topics such as pit crews, eSports, social Media in recruiting, diversity in baseball and restless Philly fans (links below).
Students included several multimedia elements in each piece, the best of which included maps, infographics, timelines and videos, one of which is shown below.
Overtime TU writers covered the Colonial Athletic Association championship game in Baltimore. Students previewed the tournament on Storify, live tweeted the game and wrote quick reactions after the nets had been cut.