New option for sports minor brings optimism

by Samuel Evers / Beacon Staff • February 12, 2015

The recently introduced Individually Designed Major program, designed in part for undergraduates to create a sports communication minor, is drawing optimism from sports-minded professors and student-athletes alike for the future of a better developed sports culture at Emerson.

Malcolm Kelner, a junior journalism major and member of the baseball team, said he thinks the program could be a selling point for future athletic recruits.

“A minor in sports communication is a really cool thing to put on a resume,” he said. “It shows that Emerson is taking the steps to get serious about sports at an education level, and I think people will start to notice that.”

Evan Goldstein, a sophomore journalism major and member of the baseball team, said he hopes the announcement will have more of an immediate effect.

“Obviously the Emerson community lacks the sports passion other schools have, but that could be a direct correlation to the lack of emphasis the school puts on it,” said Goldstein. “If the program does have success, it could also lead to a greater following for our sports teams, and as an athlete, that's always a plus.”

John Rooke, who has taught a class on sports reporting at Emerson for the last 10 years, agreed with the sentiment that the introduction of the minor is a necessary start to drawing more interest to sports at Emerson in general.

“It’s certainly a step in the right direction,” said Rooke. “Places like Syracuse and TCU have sports journalism as separate majors, and if Emerson wants to compete and continue to produce big names in the industry, its time to give the students here a fair chance.”

Rooke, an award-winning broadcaster who serves as the stadium voice for the New England Patriots and Revolution, said he was confident that many students will quickly be interested in from students in any sort of sports program at Emerson will be apparent.

“My class is always filled up, usually with a wait list,” said Rooke. “I think its about coming up with a proper and challenging curriculum, but it can be developed. Sports as an industry isn’t going anywhere—it’s a 24 hour business, and it’s important to put journalists and reporters in the right position.”

All students can create a sports communication minor. Seniors graduating this May, who may not be taking classes that fit the requirements, can make a pitch to their department heads to add the minor to their transcripts based on previous classes taken at Emerson.