Mason students showcase their work on ESPN+

How many college students can say they got their work on ESPN as an undergraduate?  At George Mason University, it is a perk that can be claimed by the nearly 30 students who are part of the Sports Broadcasting Team in the office of Student Media.

ESPN+ (ESPN’s streaming service) uses productions by the Sports Broadcasting Team to show Patriot soccer, lacrosse, women's volleyball, baseball and softball. Students handle all aspects of the production, including writing scripts, doing play-by-play and color commentary, handling tech services and working the cameras.

“Having these broadcasts published on ESPN really makes this feel professional,” said Natalie McCarthy, a senior sport management major. “You have a bigger incentive to make sure everything looks good and is done just right.”

And, of course, she added, “It looks really good on a résumé.”

Mason’s sports broadcasting team was created in 2013 by David Carroll, associate director of technology for Student Media, and then-Mason Cable Network general manager Jake McLernon.

“I wanted to get more people involved with student media in general, so I looked at the type of television people watch, and sports was the most popular,” he said. “That focus has gotten a lot more people involved.”

Such as Trent Lancaster, a sport management master’s student.

“I have dreams of running my own sports talk show one day,” Lancaster said. “Right now, I’m learning about that by writing and doing commentary.”

Mason’s Sports Broadcasting Team will produce more than 100 games in an academic year, and there are no limits to how a student can participate. For example, Carroll said even freshmen can try their hand at play-by-play and color announcing. Programs at other universities sometimes reserve announcing jobs for seniors, he said.

But Carroll said his priority is allowing students to explore their interests as early as possible. And that, said Collin Telez, a junior sport management major, allows students to try different things.

“Right now, I’m doing camera work,” he said. “But soon I’ll train to do technical and directive work.”

“It’s just exciting to publish my work on ESPN+,” Lancaster said.

The added bonus?

“It makes it easier,” he said, “for my friends and family to hear me.”