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Bob Ley, BJ Schecter, and Deirdre Yates with a group of students.

Sports Media Speaker Series

Sports Media Speaker Series

The College of Communication and the Arts proudly welcomes professionals from the sports broadcasting and journalism industries to participate in discussions on a variety of topics related to sports and media. Students from all disciplines benefit from the insight, analysis, and advice of the leading voices in the sports media industry. 

The Sports Media Speaker Series is just one part of the College's exciting minor in Sports Media. Prospective broadcasters and journalists who minor in Sports Media gain both the knowledge and training essential to be successful in a constantly evolving professional landscape. 

Upcoming Events

The Gruden Effect: Examining The Larger Issues

Monday, October 18, 2021 at 7 p.m.
Kicking off the Fall ’21 Sports Media Speaker Series is a virtual panel discussion to explore the recent news about the Raiders coach Jon Gruden.

The story about the history of offensive emails from now-former Las Vegas Raiders coach Jon Gruden has ramifications beyond one franchise. It resonates not just in the National Football League but also across American society. Gruden's casual and constant use of homophobic and misogynistic language was directed seemingly in every direction. His private attitudes, as the game's highest paid coach and former Monday Night Football analyst, is disclosed even as the NFL has spent several tumultuous years, with much effort and millions of dollars, on campaigns to promote inclusiveness around its game, and social equity at large. From the circumstances of the strategy of the release of these explosive e-mails, to the anticipation of the “next shoe to drop,” this is a critical story to examine.

On October 18 at 7 p.m. ET, we will tackle these important issues framed by the Gruden scandal in the latest installment of Seton Hall's College of Communications and the Arts Sports Media Speaker Series. Professional In Residence B.J. Schecter and former ESPN journalist Bob Ley ('76) will host an online panel discussion — with student and audience participation — to consider this seminal story.

Panelists

  • George Atallah, assistant executive director of external affairs for the NFL Players Association
  • Judy Battista, reporter for NFL Media
  • Charles Grantham, director of the Center for Sport Management at Seton Hall’s Stillman School of Business and former executive director of the NBA Players Association
  • Bomani Jones, multi-platform host and commentator at ESPN

Register for the event >>

Hosted by Bob Ley ’76, renowned television broadcast journalist, and College of Communication and the Arts Professional-In-Residence B.J. Schecter, this event is part of the Sports Media Speaker Series


Past Events

Dateline: South Orange

Monday, May 3, 2021 at 12:30 p.m.
So you want to work in sports? The pandemic has changed a lot of things, including how sports are covered and consumed. Many of the best and the brightest in the sports media industry have spoken to Seton Hall students over the past 18 months on everything from covering games, to breaking news to separating yourself from the pack.

Ley and Schecter compiled some of the best tips from the pros and shared expert advice on building a career in the sports industry. 


Black History Month Sports Media Panel Series
Three-part series hosted by Bob Ley '76, renowned television broadcast journalist, and College of Communication and the Arts Professional-In-Residence B.J. Schecter.

America’s Pastime: A Hard Look at the Future and Challenges in Baseball
February 24, 2021 at 12:30 p.m.

As Major League players report to Spring Training with the league office and Players Association continuing to spar over the economics of a full or reduced season, what does the future of baseball look like? Once known as America’s Pastime, baseball is now well behind the NFL, NBA and major college sports in popularity. There is still plenty of money in the game—the Mets recently sold for more than $2 billion and young star Fernando Tatis Jr. just signed a 14-year, $360 million contract—but will the next generation continue to watch the game? While more and more Latinos are become stars (Tatis is a prime example) the number of African-American players is declining and diversity in front offices is lacking. What will baseball look like in 10 years?

Ley and Schecter spoke with Fox and MLB Network broadcaster Tom Verducci, Doug Glanville, baseball analyst for ESPN and author of The Game from Where I Stand: A Ballplayer’s Inside View, and former All-Star pitcher Dontrelle Willis, who is now a broadcaster for Fox.

 

COVID, College Hoops and The College Sports Model
February 17, 2021 at 12:30 p.m.

College basketball has become bigger than ever, generating billions for the NCAA, conferences and schools each year. With more and more television exposure and a postseason that is as compelling as any professional sport, college basketball is big business. In 2020, the NCAA tournament was cancelled due to COVID, which resulted in losses nearing $1 billion. Now, with the pandemic still raging there is more pressure than ever to get through March Madness. But at what cost? Teams across the country are limping toward March with pauses and cancellations every day. Is it fair or just to expect college athletes to put themselves in harm’s way, play in front of few or no fans so that others can cash in on a big payday? Players have been more outspoken than ever about social justice and playing conditions as the issue of Name, Image and Likeness heads to the Supreme Court. Is this an inflection point in terms of the players’ power and influence?

Ley and Schecter spoke with ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas and former UConn star, NBA player and Fox broadcaster Scott Burrell, who is currently the head coach at Southern Connecticut State University.

 

Diversity, Inclusion, Necessity: Sports In a Time Like No Other
February 10, 2021 at 12:30 p.m.

Sports in American life stand uniquely at the center of this unprecedented storm of pandemic, economic upheaval and racial reckoning. The calls and conversations about diversity and inclusion have never been more pressing; the uncertainties are exceeded — it seems — only by the opportunities now. Will this moment produce meaningful change reflecting the pressing issues of this time or will it be an occasion for incremental advances, more in tune with the rhythms of past years?

Ley and Schecter spoke with Michael Smith, formerly of ESPN and The Boston Globe, currently a principal with Inflection Point Entertainment, and, Elizabeth Newman of Howard University, who had a distinguished career at Sports Illustrated.


"Year of Playing Dangerously: Sports During COVID-19"

November 5, 2020 at 7 p.m. 
Moderated by renowned television broadcast journalist and Seton Hall University Alum Bob Ley '76, and hosted by College of Communication and the Arts Professional-In-Residence B.J. Schecter. Professional and college sports have returned during the COVID-19 pandemic, but many challenges and questions remain. This event assembles an esteemed expert panel of sports media figures from every area of the professional sports industry to tackle the moral, ethical, health, and financial questions that playing sports in the pandemic presents.


Bob Costas and Bob Ley: The Changing Face of Sports Media

November 11, 2019
There are no two bigger names in sports media than Bob Costas and Bob Ley. The two iconic broadcast journalists came to Seton Hall's South Orange campus to discuss the ever-changing landscape of the sports media industry. Some of the topics included adapting and evolving as storytellers, the evolution of social media and its impact on journalism and the reasons why solid reporting will always be the foundation for success. In addition, students and student-athletes joined the discussion later in the program, followed by a Q&A with the audience. See more from the event »

Flickr Bob Costas and Bob Ley - The Changing Face of Sports Media

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View the Full Set on Flickr »


Sports Business and Media Ethics: Symposium featuring NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and ESPN Broadcasters Stephen A. Smith and Bob Ley

April 2, 2019
The College of Communication and the Arts and the Stillman School of Business held their second Sports Business and Media Ethics Symposium, which welcomed many guest speakers including current NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. The event covered a wide range of topics including sports gambling, amateurism, and the role of sports in American culture. The event also saw ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith and Seton Hall alum and industry veteran Bob Ley ’76 sit down for a lively discussion about their views on the business of professional sports and media ethics. Watch their conversation in its entirety below, and click here to read more about the guest speakers »


Ben Reiter and Jeff Benedict – Sports Journalism and Storytelling

December 6, 2018
Students, friends and alumni of the College of Communication and the Arts gathered to hear from New York Times bestselling authors Jeff Benedict and Ben Reiter for a roundtable discussion titled, "The Book on Storytelling, Writing, and Publishing." Moderated by CommArts Professional in Resident B.J. Schecter, the event highlighted the enduring strength of powerful non-fiction writing and provided audience members with valuable strategies for engaging readers. Gain more insight from the event »

Flickr Sports Media Roundtable Series Features NY Times Best-selling Authors

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View the Full Set on Flickr »


ESPN's Bob Ley Teaches Master Class, "Sports Journalism and Its Challenges"

November 12, 2018
Thirty lucky students from the College of Communication and the Arts and Stillman School of Business were selected to participate in a master class taught by former SportsCenter host and Seton Hall alum Bob Ley '76. Ley's class gave prospective communication professionals an exclusive look at what a career in broadcasting entails in today's media landscape, and provided Seton Hall students practice based experience from one of the best in the business. Learn more about Bob Ley's Master Class »

Flickr ESPN's Bob Ley '76 Teaches Master Class

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View the Full Set on Flickr »


Sports Business and Media Ethics: A Conversation with Former NBA Commissioner David Stern

April 26, 2018
The College of Communication and the Arts and Stillman School of Business welcomed former NBA Commissioner David Stern as keynote speaker for the first ever Sports Business and Media Ethics Symposium. Stern talked with former head of the NBA players association and current Seton Hall professor Charles Grantham at length about racial disparities, drug use in professional sports, the one and done rule and much more. Watch the conversation in its entirety below, and click here to read more about the keynote speaker »


Paul Fichtenbaum and Dana O'Neil of The Athletic – A Sports Media Roundtable

April 12, 2018
Paul Fichtenbaum and Dana O'Neil of The Athletic participated in a roundtable discussion about how their subscription-based sports website is changing the way we access quality sports journalism. Moderated by CommArts Professional-in-Residence B.J. Schecter, this event offered students a sobering look at the future of sports journalism and its place in the digital marketplace. Read more about the discussion here »

Flickr Sports Media Roundtable Series: The Athletic and the Future of Media

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View the Full Set on Flickr »


"Baseball and Spring Training: Covering America's Game Today" – Featuring Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated, Marc Werner of MLB Network, and Jayson Stark of ESPN

February 7, 2018
In the inaugural event of the College of Communication and the Arts' Sports Media Speaker Series, students and faculty gathered to learn about the latest in reporting, writing, and story-telling strategies from some of the industry's leading sports writers. Read about the guest speaker's accomplished careers and advice they offered to students here »

Flickr CommArts - Covering Baseball Today

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View the Full Set on Flickr »

 

For More Information on the Sports Media minor offered within the College of Communication and the Arts, click here »