By David Ford
The Youngstown State University sports broadcasting program continues to grow and seek credibility with new facilities and faculty after the track was introduced in 2014.
Fred Owens, a telecommunications professor at YSU, said the program offers students hands-on experience and skills necessary to work for major sports networks.
“The program provides us with the chance to gain experience and create our own content,” Owens said. “We are able to work extremely close with athletics. Our students create video clips for local sporting events, interview players, announce games and go on recruiting trips with university coaches.”
In an effort to boost the program’s credibility, the university hired new faculty with professional experience in sports media. Kyle Brown, who’s worked for ESPN covering events such as the NBA Finals and Monday Night Football, now works with YSU students in the sports broadcasting program.
“One of our main goals in the program is to establish high credential faculty,” Owens said. “We aim to bring people with valuable experience from the regional and national levels.”
Don Constantini, a graduate of YSU and founder of Falcon Transport Co. and Comprehensive Logistics Co. in Youngstown, donated $1 million to construct a multimedia center behind the visitor stands at Stambaugh Stadium.
The Don Constantini Multimedia Center will be home to classrooms and laboratories for the communications department and will have designated space for the sports broadcasting program to operate.
Adam Earnheardt, chair of the YSU Department for Communication, said that the facility is going to be used often, especially by those in the sports broadcasting program.
“It’s important to know that, with the new media center, we wanted a facility we could use more than just a few Saturdays every fall,” Earnheardt said. “We’re fulfilling the wishes the media center’s namesake, Mr. Constantini, in that we’re creating a space that will be used at least five days a week for education purposes tied to our sports broadcasting and media programs.”
Students involved with the sports broadcasting program are advised to get internships, but according to Owens, they should gain as much experience as they can.
Students in the program have gotten internships with sports teams such as the Cleveland Indians, the Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Pirates, to name a few.
“We usually encourage the students to wait until their final year to get an internship,” Owens said. “It’s really important that the students who are skilled will be able to intern with major sports teams and universities at the regional level.”
Brandon Terlecky, a freshman communications major, said he didn’t have any experience with live video production but said “what the heck” and sent in an application to work for the Cleveland Indians.
Without any experience, Terlecky thought a chance at the internship was still a long shot but received a call back. He was taken up to an office that overlooked the field to answer some questions that his prospective employers had. According to Terlecky, the meeting went great.
Not expecting anything else, Terlecky said he followed up with an email, thanking the organization for giving him an interview and left it at that.
“Two days later, I received an offer to be a runner,” Terlecky said.
According to Terlecky, a runner is basically an entry level position that requires someone to perform simple tasks such as running and getting batteries, or answering phones during the game.
Terlecky expressed his gratitude for YSU and the Indians organization to let him realize his full potential. As the old saying goes, “nothing is impossible.”