Temple Announces Claire Smith Center for Sports Media | Sports

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Claire Smith, the first female sports journalist to be honored by the National Baseball Hall of Fame, was a true trailblazer for African American women and people of color in sports media.

The Klein College of Media and Communication at Temple University announced plans for the Claire Smith Center for Sports Media on Wednesday, October 6. Smith, a distinguished alumnus of Temple University, has joined the faculty at Klein College and will help run the center.

“The Claire Smith Center will prepare Temple students for the rapidly changing world of sports media, giving them a solid foundation in the values ​​Claire personifies: ethics, integrity and excellence,” said Dean David Boardman in a statement.

Additionally, former Philadelphia 76ers play-by-play announcer Marc Zumoff, another Klein College graduate, will join Klein College as the center’s associate director.

“When we heard that Marc was hanging up his Sixers mic, we got down to work to get him home to Temple,” Boardman said in a statement. “With Claire Smith, Marc Zumoff and the exceptional faculty members who already teach sports media at Klein, our students will have unparalleled opportunities to learn and become the Claire Smith and Marc Zumoffs of the future.”

Boardman said the centre’s vision is to create a world-class academic enterprise focused on education, professional training, and research in sports journalism, broadcasting, advertising, public relations, broadcasting. production and social influence. Through the center and its new certificate in sports media, Klein College will offer an ethically-grounded approach to education in all disciplines at a time when the boundaries between sports journalism and the world of sports are growing. blurry.

The center will particularly focus on breaking down gender and race barriers in sports media, as Smith herself has done as a reporter for ESPN, The New York Times and other newspapers. In 2017, Smith was the first and only woman to receive the Baseball Writers Association of America’s Career Achievement Award, presented during Hall of Fame Induction Weekend.

These values ​​run deep within Klein College, and it has been recognized by its peers as one of the national leaders in diversity, equity and inclusion, winning the 2018 Equity and Inclusion Award. diversity of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, among other efforts. towards a constant improvement of the inclusiveness of our programs.

The enormous respect Smith inspires in the sports world is reflected in the gifts Klein College received in its campaign to raise at least $ 1 million to establish and name the Claire Smith Center. The main campaign donation, $ 350,000, comes jointly from Major League Baseball and Major League Baseball Players Association.

“Claire Smith is the epitome of excellence, integrity and professionalism,” Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement. “She is the perfect person to give the name of a program to generations of students to emulate. Major League Baseball is honored to support the Claire Smith Center for Sports Media to help educate a diverse student body to follow the exceptional example of a true pioneer. “

“Claire was a trailblazer in sports journalism as the first woman to regularly cover a Major League baseball club and the first African American woman to become a full-time writer,” said MLBPA Executive Director Tony Clark, himself a former major league player. in a report. “Knowing Claire since my rookie season, I can attest to the respect she has earned among the players for the caliber of her writing and the high level of integrity with which she has conducted her job.”

Other major donors so far have included ESPN; the Fernleigh Foundation, whose president, Jane Forbes Clark, is also president of the National Baseball Hall of Fame; ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith; the Philadelphia Phillies; the National Hockey League Players Association; and a variety of professional athletes, coaches and executives, including Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker and Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. At this point, the campaign is looking for other tax-deductible donations to establish and maintain the center.

Smith, who graduated from Temple University in 1979, was the first female assigned full-time to a Major League Baseball beat, covering the New York Yankees for the Hartford Courant in the mid-1980s. She then moved on. at the New York Times and the Philadelphia Inquirer before joining ESPN in 2007.

In his early days as a journalist, Smith suffered verbal and even physical abuse from players in the locker room. By the time she was voted the recipient of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America’s Career Excellence Award, she had become one of the game’s most respected writers.

Dodgers manager Roberts reflected on Smith’s new role with center.

“The strong relationships Claire has built with players and coaches over the course of her career are unique and really resonate with me,” he said in a statement. “His leadership of this new center will inevitably prepare students to follow in his footsteps and break new ground. “

Phillies executive vice president David Buck said in a statement, “Claire’s entry into academia is timely and will bring a thoughtful, balanced and fair dimension to preparing the next generation.”

John DiCarlo, executive director of student media at Temple, Klein College alumnus and assistant faculty member, will be co-director of the center with Smith. He is also editor of the sports website OwlScoop.com.

Smith and DiCarlo will be joined at the center by Zumoff, a 1992 graduate of Temple and Klein College. Zumoff recently announced his retirement after 27 seasons as the televised voice of the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association. He has long coached for sports and news broadcasters, and is co-author of an academic textbook on sports casting.

Zumoff has won the Mid-Atlantic Emmy Award for Best Play-by-Play Sports Broadcaster 18 times and – like Smith – is widely admired by his colleagues, fans and the athletes he has covered.


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