Published: April 4, 2013

MSU alum sports reporters to 'speed coach' students

Contact(s): Tom Oswald Media Communications office: (517) 432-0920 cell: (517) 281-7129, Katie Wolf College of Communication Arts and Sciences office: (517) 353-5981

Former Michigan State University basketball great and television analyst Steve Smith will join with many of his sports journalism colleagues, who also happen to be MSU alumni, at the Spartan Sports Journalism Classic.

The daylong event, which will feature panels of working journalists discussing timely topics in sports journalism, as well as “speed coaching” for students, is April 11 at the MSU Communication Arts and Sciences Building.

“I’m looking forward to connecting with the next generation of sports journalists,” Smith said. “MSU has played a big part in my life. I’m honored to join my colleagues and fellow Spartans to support one of the best sports journalism programs anywhere.”

The list of participants is a who’s who of sports journalists, including Jarrett Bell of USA Today, Joe Rexrode of the Detroit Free Press, Lynn Henning of the Detroit News, Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News, and a host of others.

The two panel discussions, which begin at 4:45 p.m., will be moderated by Smith and streamed live on Tickets to the panel presentations are free, but reservations are required at

In addition, journalists will share their career experiences and insights with journalism students during morning classes and participate in “speed coaching” that afternoon. Students will have five minutes to promote themselves to one of the working journalists before a whistle blows and they are off to a new round.

“Early this year I had the opportunity to visit with Steve Smith in Atlanta,” said Communication Arts and Sciences Dean Pamela Whitten. “Steve expressed an interest in giving back to MSU by working with our sports journalism students and challenged us to develop creative learning experiences. I was thrilled when he agreed to co-host a special event with me to help elevate national awareness of our sports journalism program.”

As many as 100 sports news outlets around the country seek out MSU’s student interns and close to 50 of the college’s graduates are employed in high-profile sports journalism positions today.

In addition, that evening Smith and Whitten will host an invitational dinner honoring former WKAR sports host and reporter Earle Robinson, who retired in February after 39 years at the station. Robinson was the host of the daily call-in “SportsTalk/870” on WKAR.

For more information, including a list of attendees, go here.


Our Commitment: Healing Assistant Fund - National organizations selected to oversee fund for counseling and services