• History of Excellence

    History of Excellence

    Today’s Syracuse University students pursuing careers in sports media are part of a tradition that goes back more than 75 years. The great sportscaster Marty Glickman ’39 is recognized as the “godfather” of a long line of SU sports media professionals that includes Bob Costas ’74, Hank Greenwald ’57, Dave Pasch ’94, Dick Stockton ’64, Andy Musser ’59, Marv Albert ’63, Beth Mowins G’90 Len Berman ’68, G’70, Sean McDonough ’84, Mike Tirico ’88, Ian Eagle ’90, Dave O’Brien ’86 and many more–not only in sports broadcasting but also in sports writing, editing, production and management at the national and local levels.

  • Professional Sports Coverage

    Professional Sports Coverage

    Students in the Sports Communications Emphasis have covered the Syracuse Chiefs (AAA baseball) and have written columns focused on Major League Baseball, the National Football League and Mixed Martial Arts. Students also work with the Syracuse Crunch (American Hockey League) and the ACC Network.

  • SU Sports Coverage

    SU Sports Coverage

    Newhouse School graduate students in the Sports Communications Emphasis serve as credentialed reporters covering Syracuse University teams. Their stories appear on this website in text, photo and video format, and they also contribute to campus media outlets covering sports. Students have covered SU football, cross country, basketball, crew and lacrosse, and there’s more to come.

  • Leading Sports Media Personalities

    Leading Sports Media Personalities

    When you look to the top of the sports broadcasting profession you see Syracuse alumni everywhere you turn: from NBC’s Bob Costas ’74 and Mike Tirico ’88 to Marv Albert ’63, the Voice of the NBA, plus ESPN’s Sean McDonough ’84, Dave Pasch ’94, Dave O’Brien ’86 and Beth Mowins G’90 and CBS’ Ian Eagle ’90. Former SU football and basketball stars such as Daryl Johnston ’89, Don McPherson ’88, Donovan McNabb ’98 and Leo Rautins ’83 have moved into the broadcast booth. SU alums are play-by-play voices for the Boston Red Sox (Dave O’Brien ’86 and Joe Castiglione G’70), San Francisco Giants (Dave Flemming G’99), Minnesota Twins (Cory Provus ’00) and Houston Astros (Robert Ford ’01). Personalities such as Bill Roth ’87 (Virginia Tech), Tony Caridi ’84 (West Virginia) and SU’s own Voice of the Orange Matt Park ’89 call games for Division One college programs.

  • Mentoring Tomorrow’s Pros

    Mentoring Tomorrow’s Pros

    SU alumni in sports media have always been willing to mentor and advise students. Whether returning to campus to speak and meet with the next generation of sports media professionals, Skyping with them, critiquing demo reels and clips or helping students make internship and job contacts, Orange alumni are always there. The Newhouse Sports Media Center helps make those connections between students and alumni.

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Student Reporting

Women’s Basketball Opens Season With Win Against Ohio   

Women’s Basketball Opens Season With Win Against Ohio  

November 9, 2019

Story by Maria Trivelpiece, Photos by Tze Kiu Wan   SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Head Coach Quentin Hillsman knew that the Ohio University Bobcats were going to be a tough matchup for his team. “That’s why we scheduled them,” he said. After the first quarter, it looked as if the Syracuse Women’s basketball team may be […]

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Story by Maria Trivelpiece, Photos by Tze Kiu Wan

 

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Head Coach Quentin Hillsman knew that the Ohio University Bobcats were going to be a tough matchup for his team. “That’s why we scheduled them,” he said.

After the first quarter, it looked as if the Syracuse Women’s basketball team may be starting their season 0-1. After ten minutes of play, they trailed 22-10. They were only four-for-18 from the floor and had nine turnovers.

“Ohio had an urgency that they come up with at the beginning of the game,” said Coach Hillsman. “We didn’t have that same sense of urgency.”

Between quarters, Hillsman addressed this and the Orange came out with the urgency they lacked in the first. They outscored the Bobcats 21 to eight in the second, shooting 62.5% from three-point range and snagging eleven rebounds. To end the half, Taleah Washington made a shot to put Syracuse up by one.

“I give my kids a lot of credit,” said Hillsman. “They fought hard.”

They carried their fight into the second half, outscoring Ohio 35-24. They shot 14-for-32 from the floor and had 27 rebounds. Kiara Lewis notched 12 points in the half and 17 total on the night. Even with the tough-fought battle against a hard-nosed opponent, the Orange still have some work to do.

They had 18 turnovers and only shot fifty percent from the free-throw line.

“I’m not going to let them settle,” said Hillsman.

The team agreed, taking accountability for their individual downfalls in the game.

“I had six of the turnovers myself,” said Kiara Lewis, a redshirt junior guard. “That can’t happen. We have to get better and we’re going to get better.”

Syracuse will be home again Tuesday, Nov. 12 to take on the University of Maryland Eastern Shore at 8:00 pm.

Syracuse Defense Struggles Against Boston College

Syracuse Defense Struggles Against Boston College

November 9, 2019

Story By Maria Trivelpiece, Photos By Nicholas D’Alessandro Syracuse headed into their game on Saturday with hopes of picking up their first ACC win, and it initially seemed as if they might get it. After each team’s opening drives, the Orange led 7-3. The rest of the first quarter was a series of lead changes. […]

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Story By Maria Trivelpiece, Photos By Nicholas D’Alessandro

Syracuse headed into their game on Saturday with hopes of picking up their first ACC win, and it initially seemed as if they might get it. After each team’s opening drives, the Orange led 7-3.

The rest of the first quarter was a series of lead changes. Boston College scored on a 29-yard run from David Bailey. The next Eagles’ drive resulted in a fumble recovered by Andre Cisco that eventually led to an Andre Szmyt field goal.  

Boston College fumbled again on their next possession, but this time the Orange converted with a touchdown. Heading into the second quarter, Syracuse leads, 17-10.

Syracuse’s defense started to collapse as thirty-eight seconds into the second quarter, Boston College quarterback Dennis Grosel found Koby White for a 64-yard touchdown. The Orange responded with a field goal of their own, but it was one of the last times they would score.

Boston College scored touchdowns on their next three possessions on a pass from Grosel to Zay Flowers, a 51-yard run by AJ Dillon, and finally a pass from Grosel to Miranda.  At the end of the first half they led the Orange 44-20. 

Trishton Jackson, celebrating.

Syracuse’s final score of the game was an 85-yard pass from DeVito to Trishton Jackson toward the end of the third. Dillon ran for two more touchdowns, one in the third and another in the fourth, with a final score of 58-27. 

Dillon ran for a season-high of 242 yards and David Bailey followed closely behind with 172. As a team, Boston College rushed for 511 yards.

“Our defense just got tired of hitting Dillon,” said Head Coach Dino Babers. “Obviously I’m extremely disappointed about the outcome of the game. I think they played really hard, but the score didn’t show it.”  

The Orange have a bye-week and will then head to Duke. Babers said that going into their break, the team has to, “dig deep and find something out” about themselves.

Pittsburgh’s Defense Stifles Syracuse, Orange Remain Winless in Conference

Pittsburgh’s Defense Stifles Syracuse, Orange Remain Winless in Conference

October 24, 2019

Story by Nicholas Ursini, Photo by Noah Lowy SYRACUSE, N.Y. – It was a slow start for both Pittsburgh and Syracuse, but it was Pittsburgh’s defense that recorded nine sacks en route to their fourth-straight victory. The Panthers knocked off the Orange 27-20 inside the Dome. Four punts to start the game before Pitt (5-2, 2-1 […]

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Story by Nicholas Ursini, Photo by Noah Lowy

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – It was a slow start for both Pittsburgh and Syracuse, but it was Pittsburgh’s defense that recorded nine sacks en route to their fourth-straight victory.

The Panthers knocked off the Orange 27-20 inside the Dome.

Four punts to start the game before Pitt (5-2, 2-1 ACC) finally got their offense rolling. The Panthers moved the ball down the field for 52-yards on seven plays and broke the tie with a 47-yard field goal from Alex Kessman.

Syracuse (3-4, 0-3 ACC) got some momentum going after Maurice Ffrench muffed a punt return and Cameron Jordan recovered it. A sack and a penalty forced the Orange to kick a 28-yard field from Andre Szmyt to tie the game with 3:07 left in the first quarter.

Ensuing Panthers possession, quarterback Kenny Pickett threw a 43-yard touchdown strike to Aaron Mathews off a flea-flicker trick play to put Pitt up 10-3 with 1:23 left in the first quarter.

To start the second quarter, Syracuse was driving deep into Pittsburgh territory.

The Orange had first-and-goal from the four-yard line, but could not find the end zone and settled for a Szmyt 20-yard field goal.

Pittsburgh got the ball on Syracuse’s 39-yard line after forcing a punt deep in Orange territory.

The Panthers took five plays to go 39-yards, capped off by an A.J. Davis 5-yard touchdown rush putting Pittsburgh up 17-6 with 4:53 left in the first half.

Syracuse goes three-and-out and next Pittsburgh possession, they score once more. Pickett connected with Ffrench from 14-yards out with 23-seconds left on the clock in the second quarter.

That touchdown sent Pitt to halftime with the 24-6 lead.

TOMMY DEVITO INJURED, IN COMES CLAYTON WELCH:

After both Syracuse and Pitt punted, Clayton Welch entered the game for an injured Tommy DeVito at the 12-minute mark in the third quarter. DeVito took a hit to the shoulder after he escaped the pocket. He left the game with no return.

On third-and-eight, Welch dropped a dime to Taj Harris who shrugged off the cornerback for a 94-yard touchdown reception.

Welch’s first career touchdown pass cut into Pittsburgh’s lead. Syracuse was down 24-13 with 11:12 left in the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, Syracuse had a third-down and two-yards to go, Welch was sacked and the 49-yard field goal attempt by Szmyt was hooked left.

Pitt added a 34-yard field goal with 7:03 remaining, extending their lead by two touchdowns.

Welch led Syracuse on a 15 play, 75-yard touchdown drive capped off by a Welch to Aaron Hackett four-yard reception, Hackett’s fourth touchdown of the season.

Syracuse could not stop Pittsburgh on a third-and-two and the Panthers ran out the clock, securing the 27-20 victory.

HEAR FROM DINO:

Head Coach Dino Babers saw Welch play the most football he ever has in an Orange uniform and said he could not be more proud.

“It was good to see him finally get out there as a senior,” Babers said. “It might be his last time playing football.”

After giving up nine sacks, no team has given up more sacks this season than Syracuse as their season total climbs to 35.

Through seven games, Syracuse’s offensive line is exposed and Coach Babers says it’s time for a reevaluation.

“Everyone’s job is in jeopardy,” said Babers. “It’s not fair to keep playing the same guys if the results do not change. There are certain guys in the game that are not doing good enough.”

This is the second game in a row that DeVito has exited with an injury. DeVito finished the night 11-for-23 with 101 yards.

Coach Babers said Tommy wanted to go back out.

“You have done enough,” said Babers. “Those guys are like my stepsons and that hit was enough for me. I did not need to see him go through that again.”

Seven games into the season and Syracuse is 3-4, remaining winless in the conference. Syracuse will now travel south to Tallahassee to face the Florida State Seminoles.

For Syracuse, the clock is ticking with five games left, they need to win three to become bowl eligible.

Coach Babers would not say who he would start as quarterback against Florida State. He said it is all about how guys heal.

Kickoff at Doak Campbell Stadium is set for 3:30 p.m.

Esports Class Visits NYC to see Tournament

Esports Class Visits NYC to see Tournament

October 7, 2019

Story by Kyla Wright, Photos by Olivia Stomski BROOKLYN, N.Y. – In Fall 2018, Syracuse held its first “Esports and Media” class, taught by Olivia Stomski, Director of the Newhouse Sports Media Center, and Chris Hanson, an assistant English professor at the University. In the same semester, the class visited ESL One New York for […]

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Story by Kyla Wright, Photos by Olivia Stomski

BROOKLYN, N.Y. – In Fall 2018, Syracuse held its first “Esports and Media” class, taught by Olivia Stomski, Director of the Newhouse Sports Media Center, and Chris Hanson, an assistant English professor at the University. In the same semester, the class visited ESL One New York for its third annual Counter-Strike Global Offensive tournament.
Last month, Stomski and Hanson returned with their new class of students to experience “the biggest esports event on the East Coast.” They watched eight teams battle for the grand prize of $200,000.

Rubin Wright, a senior in the esports class, attended the tournament both years and has noticed growth within the year. Wright took the class not only due to his interest in video games but also because he knows esports is a field that’ll potentially rival the sports industry in 10-15 years.

“Believe it or not, video games and tech are becoming up to par with actual sports,” said Wright.

Syracuse alum, Sunghwan Kim ‘14, is a Junior Account Executive for Brand Partnerships at ESL. He works with brands and agencies to educate them on esports and help them figure out how to best approach esports from a marketing opportunity perspective with ESL. Kim gave a tour to the class before Sunday’s tournament. The tour was Wright’s favorite part of the day’s events, because he appreciated the opportunity to see the behind-the-scenes of the tournament.

“I liked being able to witness the production side,” said Wright. “From seeing producers work to getting the product to an online streaming platform.”

Kim showed the students backstage aspects from lighting and cameras, to the press area and production trucks. He additionally gave a tour of the concourse where students saw brand activations with a variety of ESL’s partners such as Pepsi, Sony, Intel and ASUS.

“ESL has been running some of the largest esports competitions all over the world for close to two decades,” said Kim. “For us to use an amazing venue like Barclays Center, provides a great opportunity and challenge to fit our scope of work in a multi-purpose facility.”

As a fellow Orangeman, Kim credits Syracuse for its strong network and relationships while he was a student and in his post-graduate career – an inspiration behind creating this experience for the class.

“If there are any opportunities to provide insight, make connections, then I want to give back in the same way that I received,” said Kim.

 

Orange Winless Since Holy Cross

Orange Winless Since Holy Cross

October 7, 2019

Story by Kienan Dixon, Photos by Julianna D’Urzo SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Tommy DeVito and the Orange haven’t gained a win since they beat Holy Cross 41-3, over a month ago. DeVito showed poise against Holy Cross, pitching four touchdown passes for 269 yards. The redshirt sophomore was 19-31 through the air, with a late pick […]

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Story by Kienan Dixon, Photos by Julianna D’Urzo

SYRACUSE, N.Y. Tommy DeVito and the Orange haven’t gained a win since they beat Holy Cross 41-3, over a month ago.

DeVito showed poise against Holy Cross, pitching four touchdown passes for 269 yards. The redshirt sophomore was 19-31 through the air, with a late pick on an underthrown pass.

DeVito left the fourth quarter with an apparent elbow injury.

The QB’s main targets were Taj Harris, who he found for 6 receptions and 107 yards. Harris was also one of four beneficiaries of a DeVito dime that found the end zone, as the Orange showed diversity in their offensive threat through the air. Joining Harris in the touchdown column were Aaron Hackett, Triston Jackson and Luke Benson.

The defense held strong, sacking Holy Cross quarterback Connor Degenhardt five times and holding the Crusaders to just 138 yards of offense. They also held Holy Cross to 18 yards on 32 attempts.

Andrew Armstrong led the Orange’s defense with eight tackles, including three for a loss. Brandon Berry got to Degenhardt often, sacking him 2.5 times with five total tackles.

On the downside, Syracuse did not record an interception for the first time in 17 games, which was the longest current record in the country. On the upside, the Orange continued its takeaway streak with one fumble recovered. The streak gets pushed to 19 games, the third-longest in the country.

The  fumble set up a 17-yard touchdown pass from DeVito to Jackson.

The most impressive play of the day was a 47-yard catch and run for a touchdown by Taj Harris in the third quarter. Harris caught a pass ten yards downfield, then reversed field to beat every Crusader to the end zone.

The Orange’s losing streak began at NC State where the score was 10-16.

DeVito is the Future of Orange Football

DeVito is the Future of Orange Football

September 25, 2019

Story by: Darron Wallace, Photo by: Michelle Knezovic SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Nearly three weeks into the 2019 season, Syracuse quarterback Tommy DeVito has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns and has a 30.9 QBR. This was supposed to be the year that head coach Dino Babers gave DeVito the keys to the Porsche. So far, the […]

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Story by: Darron Wallace, Photo by: Michelle Knezovic

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Nearly three weeks into the 2019 season, Syracuse quarterback Tommy DeVito has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns and has a 30.9 QBR. This was supposed to be the year that head coach Dino Babers gave DeVito the keys to the Porsche. So far, the Porsche is driving more like a hooptie. Coach Babers came to Syracuse with a reputation of coaching teams with fast-paced and high-scoring offenses. This year’s offense has been far from that. Though there have been some injuries and adjustments made to the offensive line in addition to former QB Eric Dungey graduating, this year’s offense was expected to pick up where they left off. After last weekend’s 41-6 defeat to Clemson, it may be time to look at the man under center and wonder what’s going on.

Turnovers, really bad turnovers
Through three games, DeVito has thrown four interceptions and two of them were particularly puzzling. While playing Maryland, DeVito rolled to his right but unable to find a receiver, forced him to pass down the field — apprearing as if it was intended for the defensive back. Against Clemson, he threw a pick that was similar to the one against Maryland and it came at the absolute worst possible time. Chris Fredrick picked off Trevor Lawrence and set the Orange up inside the 10. During the next play, a pick was thrown to a Clemson defender with no Syracuse receiver in a ten yard radius. If the Orange would’ve found a way to come away with a touchdown then it would’ve been a different ball game.
“I was disappointed that it kind of happened in the same place in the same situation and I talked to him about that,” said Babers in reference to the similar plays. “It was one of those reactionary things and I didn’t think I would be talking about it again, but I really don’t believe it’s going to happen again. I really think that that’s it and that we’ll grow from it.” Those sort of mistakes from DeVito pose the question if he’s capable of leading a high-powered offense, but Coach Babers is adamant that he is the guy.

Indecision
Another one of DeVito’s apparent struggles was his indecisiveness in the pocket. Potentially due to offensive line instability or lack of confidence; when standing tall and stepping into his throws, DeVito looked his greatest. Though the Orange didn’t score any touchdowns, they looked their best when their leader looked confident. Throughout the night, the signal caller was throwing off his back foot or flat footed, resulting in off-target or mistimed throws. If Taj Harris catches the slant route in the first quarter, could that have changed the way DeVito played the rest of the game? Maybe. Regardless, for an offense that’s fast-paced and based on timing, stepping up in the pocket and making timely throws are crucial to an offense operating on schedule. If DeVito can make that adjustment, perhaps he can look like the DeVito that fans sparatically saw last season. If not, there won’t be much to be excited about for the rest of the season.

No one knows what other SU quarterbacks have to offer. Clayton Welch checked into the end of the game, but it didn’t mean much. Other than that, no one can say that there’s an answer outside of DeVito. It’s his team. This team will live and die by the play of Tommy DeVito.

What Happens Next?
It’s important to see growth from DeVito after the last few games. The recent game against Western Michigan was a great opportunity to see how the young quarterback could bounce back from a lackluster performance, albeit against one of the top defenses in the nation. Syracuse won comfortably, meaning there is still hope for an 8 or 9-win season.
The Clemson game was winnable. After Fredrick’s interception, if Syracuse would’ve found the end zone after that play, it could’ve been a 17-13 game.
“It is just a lot of growing, just trying to get better every game moving forward,” said DeVito. “I am just trying to be the best leader possible and try to move the offense down the field.”
It is imperative that DeVito corrects his mistakes from the first three weeks and helps turn the offense back into the high-paced production that it was last year. It’s too early to write the Orange off and this small homestand comes at the right time. If the offensive line can get back on track and the defense continues to give opposing teams fits, we could see Syracuse fighting for a bowl game, but the team can only go as far as DeVito can carry them.

Orange get spark back after defeating Western Michigan

Orange get spark back after defeating Western Michigan

September 25, 2019

Story by Racquel Stephen, Photo by Kris Wan SYRACUSE, N.Y. – It was a much-needed win for Syracuse as the Orange defeated Western Michigan 55-42 after a crushing loss to Clemson (41-6) at home the previous weekend. The Orange’s running game dominated the first quarter with a 60-yard rush by quarterback Tommy DeVito placing Syracuse […]

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Story by Racquel Stephen, Photo by Kris Wan

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – It was a much-needed win for Syracuse as the Orange defeated Western Michigan 55-42 after a crushing loss to Clemson (41-6) at home the previous weekend. The Orange’s running game dominated the first quarter with a 60-yard rush by quarterback Tommy DeVito placing Syracuse in the red zone on the second play of the game. SU’s star running back, Moe Neal, completed the drive, rushing into the endzone scoring the Orange’s first touchdown only 1:30 into the first quarter.
Later in the quarter, WMU loses their star receiver, Dwayne Eskridge after suffering a collar bone injury when colliding with defense on a deep pass. The Broncos were forced to rearrange their offensive strategy, while SU managed to score another TD with 5:29 left in the quarter.
The Orange’s defense only allowed one 4th down conversion of five attempts. The offense remained unstoppable in the second quarter with a 36-yard TD by DeVito on the first drive of the 2nd quarter, putting SU ahead 21-0.
As the Broncos began to utilize their star running back, Levante Bellamy, he finally put points on the board for the away team with nine minutes left in the 2nd quarter. Bellamy was later sidelined in the 3rd quarter with an injury.
With two offensive juggernauts out of the game, the Bronco’s offense took a big hit while DeVito made magic with Trishton Jackson (WR) and Aaron Hackett (TE) in the final half connecting with both players six times for 189 yards and 4 touchdowns. Jackson was named ACC receiver of the week for his performance in Saturday’s game.
“I thought that they were extremely focused, and maybe even a little embarrassed about some of the things that had happened recently,” said Orange Head Coach, Dino Babers. “They thought about the Orange in front of their chest and not their names on the back.” He said about the offensive spark that carried the team this week.
SU’s record is even again, at 2-2 going into their match up with Holy Cross on Saturday.

’02 Howard Chen Returns to SU

’02 Howard Chen Returns to SU

September 24, 2019

Story and Photo by Kyla Wright SYRACUSE, N.Y. – ESPN International Producer Howard Chen returns to the place where his sports journalism career began – the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. A 2002 broadcast journalism graduate, Chen knew that he’d be in the industry, whether it was in front of or behind the camera. Chen […]

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Story and Photo by Kyla Wright

SYRACUSE, N.Y.  ESPN International Producer Howard Chen returns to the place where his sports journalism career began – the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.

A 2002 broadcast journalism graduate, Chen knew that he’d be in the industry, whether it was in front of or behind the camera. Chen discussed negotiation skills, the media industry, his Newhouse experience and his career with current undergraduate and graduate students.

Growing up in Canada and eventually moving to Texas, Chen fell in love with hockey among other sports, but quickly realized he wouldn’t play them professionally, so he decided to find another way to enter into the sports realm: journalism.

As a student, Chen was active in WAER, Z89 and UUTV (now CitrusTV). He credits being on staff for these outlets for setting him a part from his competition upon graduation. Chen worked at NBC and FOX affiliate stations before reporting for Comcast SportsNet Houston, which landed him his current position at ESPN.

While at ESPN, Chen has been allowed numerous opportunities such as traveling to the ESPYs, NBA Finals and All-Star Game, US Open and at least two NBA games a week.

“I get to do all this big picture stuff, I never imagined myself doing and I get to see all my friends while in all these cities,” Chen said.

Though he is now primarily behind the camera, it was important for Chen to spend time in his career in front of it. He always dreamt of  inspiring others who look like him, as there aren’t a lot of Asian sports broadcasters.

“I knew I could do more good and influence more people if my face was on a screen,” said Chen.

Chen also advised students to learn at least one other language and to be open to all opportunities.

“Be willing to go to small markets, sleep on the couch,” Chen said. “I look back and I have no regrets – you’ll definitely have your ups and downs and you can’t help but wonder, ‘am I stuck here forever?’”

Chen attributes a lot of his successes to Newhouse and his friends for pushing him to be better. As all other Newhouse alumni, Chen is a part of the coined, “Newhouse Mafia.” Some alumni don’t particularly care for the name, but Chen doesn’t feel the same, he feels it makes up a piece of who he is.

“I don’t hate it, I love it,” said Chen. “I take pride in it.”

Revitalized Maryland offense rolls over Syracuse

Revitalized Maryland offense rolls over Syracuse

September 24, 2019

Story by: Brady Williams  Photos by: Aaron Kassman COLLEGE PARK, Md. — The No. 21 Syracuse Orange are suddenly underdogs again, losing on the road to the University of Maryland Terrapins 63-20. Coming off their best season in recent memory, the Orange (1-1) entered this season ready to impress the NCAA. Instead, the Terps throttled […]

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Story by: Brady Williams 

Photos by: Aaron Kassman

COLLEGE PARK, Md. — The No. 21 Syracuse Orange are suddenly underdogs again, losing on the road to the University of Maryland Terrapins 63-20. Coming off their best season in recent memory, the Orange (1-1) entered this season ready to impress the NCAA. Instead, the Terps throttled ‘Cuse from the very first snap.

The Orange overwhelmed

Maryland scored 21 points in a first quarter dominated by Maryland’s blitzkrieg offense. Following a quick three-and-out on Syracuse’s opening drive, Maryland’s junior transfer quarterback Josh Jackson threw for 63 yards in a commanding march downfield that ended in a touchdown for tight end Tyler Mabry.

The drive set the tone for most of the game. The Orange’s defensive line provided a decent push throughout the game, but the Terrapins relied on quick passes, play action, and a vast array of weapons to neutralize the rush.

In addition to their struggle to keep up with Maryland’s versatile offense, Syracuse simply failed to execute in several areas. On Syracuse’s second drive, the offensive line began to collapse, forcing quarterback Tommy DeVito to rely on his legs. As he took off on the fourth play of the drive, Keandre Jones forced DeVito to fumble, resulting in a turnover on the Syracuse 32-yard line.

The turnover was Maryland’s 14th straight game with a forced turnover — the fifth-longest streak in the NCAA — right behind SU with 15.

Jackson continued to spread the ball around with ease as the Syracuse secondary struggled to cover Terp receivers. When throwing didn’t work, the Terps handed the ball off and found great success on the ground, with rushing touchdowns from Anthony McFarland Jr. and Javon Leake in the first quarter.

Syracuse managed to score one touchdown doing what they do best. DeVito showed on one drive that he can perform well when he stands tall in the pocket and delivers quick strikes. With 3 passes for 71 yards, he managed to net Trishton Jackson his first of two touchdowns on the day.

‘Cuse crumbles

The second quarter highlighted Syracuse’s inability to execute on what few opportunities they had. Maryland’s first drive was put to a halt thanks to the Orange’s stellar defensive front. Their pressure forced two incomplete passes, which were followed by a great sack from redshirt sophomore Curtis Harper.

After the punt, failed blocks forced DeVito to leave the pocket and throw on the run. Maryland safety Jordan Mosley intercepted the wild pass attempt. Maryland responded with a 20-yard rushing touchdown through an enormous hole in the defense by McFarland.

Tempo is everything with Syracuse’s offensive style, and they showed flashes of that again with a 39-yard pass to Jackson and a 15-yard touchdown reception by Sean Riley. Even after that, the Orange failed to follow through on their successes as Andre Szmyt missed the first extra point of his career.

Syracuse let the clock run out, ending the half with a score of 42-13.

Defense dominates 3rd quarter

Maryland opened the second half with a 64-yard rushing touchdown by Javon Leake. Despite the early slip, the ‘Cuse defense that saved the Liberty game returned to strong play in the 3rd.

DeVito again connected with Jackson for a 52-yard touchdown reception. Unfortunately for the Orange, Maryland’s defense also showed up for the second half, and the touchdown was Syracuse’s last.

On Maryland’s answering drive, Andre Cisco intercepted his second pass of the year. The two teams held each other for another set of drives, giving Syracuse the ball.

Two more for the Terps

The Orange’s first drive of the final quarter ended on another failed fourth-down conversion with three yards to go. Maryland took the ball back and began working to run the clock out.

The Terrapins handed the ball off to Tayon Fleet-Davis for seven consecutive plays. On those plays, he ran for 58 yards and a touchdown. ‘Cuse failed another fourth-down conversion, allowing Maryland running back Jake Funk 92 yards and a touchdown on three plays.

The Orange substituted the second team for a final failed drive. With 63 points to Syracuse’s 20, Maryland took a knee.

Family focus moving forward

Maryland dominated today. With 650 total yards of offense, 296 yards passing to eight different receivers 2 or more catches and 354 rushing yards, the Terrapins mounted an attack that the Orange could neither anticipate nor match pace with.

The loss was nothing if not a culture shock. In his post-game press conference, Dino Babers conceded that the outcome was certainly a piece of “humble pie.” He suggested many of his team’s struggles were a result of poor game film for Maryland due to their 79-0 blowout against Howard.

Babers said his focus is on the team as a family, and how they can improve and prepare to face Clemson next in the Carrier Dome.

Currently No. 1 in the country, Clemson arrives in Syracuse on Sept. 14 for a highly anticipated match between the ACC foes.

Orange defense shines, offense struggles to find rhythm vs. Liberty

Orange defense shines, offense struggles to find rhythm vs. Liberty

September 24, 2019

Story by: Maria Trivelpiece Photos by: Alyssa Lyons LYNCHBURG, Va. – Coach Dino Babers is known for his aggressive and successful offense, but in Syracuse football’s season opener it was the defense that sealed the Orange’s 24-0 victory over the Liberty Flames. Tommy DeVito and the offense started shakily with a three-and-out on the opening drive. […]

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Story by: Maria Trivelpiece

Photos by: Alyssa Lyons

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Coach Dino Babers is known for his aggressive and successful offense, but in Syracuse football’s season opener it was the defense that sealed the Orange’s 24-0 victory over the Liberty Flames.

Tommy DeVito and the offense started shakily with a three-and-out on the opening drive.

“They were playing a very unique defense,” Babers said. “These guys had not seen this on tape so we had to make game-time adjustments.”

Syracuse struggled to make any meaningful changes in the first quarter. The best they could do was squeeze a 25-yard-field goal out of kicker Andre Szmyt.

But defensive coordinator Brian Ward’s guys remained tough. Kendall Coleman picked up his first sack of the season at the start of the second quarter.

“The defense was great,” Babers said.

And great they were, holding Liberty to negative net rushing yards.

MAKING ADJUSTMENTS

Towards the end of the second quarter, the offense started to make adjustments. Abdul Adams bulldozed his way into the end zone and Szmyt made the extra point to give the Orange a 10-0 lead. DeVito threw his second interception of the game right before halftime, but it caused no harm.

By the start of the third quarter, Syracuse showed the Flames signs of why they are nationally ranked. Andre Cisco made a key interception with about seven minutes left in the third quarter that led to a score from Jarveon Howard. Coleman also snagged another sack.

SOLID START

By the fourth quarter, the Orange had fully settled in. Senior running back Moe Neal ran for a 42-yard touchdown and Szmyt made the extra point.

“I’m happy we got the win,” Babers said. “We are 1-0 and we have a chance to be 2-0 next week.”

The Orange head to College Park next Saturday to take on the University of Maryland at 12 pm. The Terrapins won their matchup today against Howard University 79-0.

Jason Smorol Keeps Hitting it out of the Park as Syracuse Mets GM

Jason Smorol Keeps Hitting it out of the Park as Syracuse Mets GM

September 24, 2019

Story and Photo by: Nicholas D’Alessandro  SYRACUSE, N.Y. — It is a Thursday night game in the dog-days of summer as the nearly .500 Syracuse Mets take on the Pawtucket Red Sox. The lines at NBT Bank Stadium are overflowing with fans buying dollar hot dogs and two dollar beers. This weekly promotional occurs every Thursday […]

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Story and Photo by: Nicholas D’Alessandro 

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — It is a Thursday night game in the dog-days of summer as the nearly .500 Syracuse Mets take on the Pawtucket Red Sox.

The lines at NBT Bank Stadium are overflowing with fans buying dollar hot dogs and two dollar beers. This weekly promotional occurs every Thursday since Mets General Manager Jason Smorol pioneered it during his days in Auburn, bringing it to Syracuse. Six years into his role, the North Syracuse native has already begun leaving a lasting impression within the organization.

 

Back in Syracuse

Donald F. Johnston, better known as “Donnie Baseball,” is the lively and dynamic press box manager for the Mets, ready to greet visitors with a handshake and the lineup for the day. He met Smorol in 2003 while he was attending SUNY Cortland and Smorol was an adjunct professor. Johnston assisted Smorol, with the Auburn’s Minor League Baseball Team, the Doubledays, and they’ve kept contact since then. Johnston credits Smorol as being an advertising and public relations savant, propelling the Syracuse baseball franchise back to profitability.

“There would not be baseball in Syracuse today, had it not been for Smorol,” said Johnston.

According to Smorol, the team was $1 million in the hole when he took over in 2013. He said the Mets were close to not being able to fulfill its debts which would have resulted in the team being taken over by Minor League Baseball.

Smorol credits many of his former staffers for keeping the team in Syracuse and members of the Chiefs First Group  who helped to finance the team out of debt.

Jason Smorol worked in baseball from 1993 to 2003.

 

A break from the sport 

At the end of the 2003 season, Smorol got married and had two children, but wanted more of a work-life balance. In the Fall of 2003, began working as an account manager at Hilti, a company that manufactures and sells tools for manual laborers and manufacturers in the construction industry.

He worked at Hilti for ten years until the former President of the Syracuse Chiefs, Bill Dutch, sent him a friend request.

Soon after, Smorol said he was on the phone with Dutch who offered him the job as the General Manager of the Chiefs.

He discussed the opportunity with his wife, and just like that, he was back in baseball.

 

Minor league mentality

Smorol said that they have turned the Mets into a profitable team by embracing the, “minor league mentality of fun.”

Since his start with the team, Smorol has been proudest of their engagement with the community and their charity work. With Smorol on board, the Mets have raised hundreds of thousands for Challenger Baseball, a baseball program for special needs children and adults.

As a minor league GM, Smorol isn’t involved with player development and transactions. Instead, he is in charge of several aspects of the game.

Though he’s in a demanding role with no set routine, Smorol has still been able to thrive.

Dave Smolnycki and Marty Nave are season ticket holders and have been attending Mets games in Syracuse since the early 1960s. They both agree that customer service is Smorol’s greatest asset.

“Smorol is a good public relations man who brought family fun back to the stadium,” said Smolnycki.

Smorol did this by adding more on-field entertainment, talking to fans about their ideas, and solving fan problems.

Additionally, Smorol has shown hospitality by checking in with players’ companions, assuring their comfortability.

Nave, a member of the Syracuse Chiefs Hall of Fame, echoed that Smorol is great at listening to fans. Smorol has brought groups on the field and gives back to season ticket holders as they receive precedence on bus trips and he threw an all-star game party for them.

Unbeknownst to Nave, Smorol knew that he had been attending games for years. When Smorol became GM, he asked Nave if he would he run a Mets fan club. Although Nave declined, Smorol continued to lean on him for advice.

“He has given a lot to preaching Syracuse baseball. He makes fans like me part of the experience and makes fans engage,” said Nave.

 

Working with Smorol

The Director of Business Operations and Merchandise, Katie Berger, works with Smorol daily to ensure that staffing needs are met for each game and to discuss actions they can take to make the stadium better.

“When someone is upset, people go to him and he is able to resonate and connect with them more than anyone else,” she said.

Tim Leonard, a broadcast assistant for the team, knows Smorol for his positive and energetic spirit.

“It doesn’t matter if it is game seven of a seven game homestand or game one, he is just as excited and passionate,” said Leonard.

He also noted that Smorol goes around the stadium greeting every employee and interacting with fans during the games.

“The real work is customer service and catering to your fans first,” said Smorol.

Matt Park has been a broadcaster for Syracuse Athletics since 2004, but has never worked directly with Smorol.

“He has been a great smile on the franchise,” Park said.  “He has lifted the brand of the team and has made a real effort to talk to fans, be accessible, and make it fun.”

He also said that Smorol has made major gains in engaging the business community.

 

Changing the Game

From local sponsors such as Burdick Mitsubishi and Upstate Orthopedics, to Bud Light and Toyota, the billboards on the outfield walls are full.

“Other GMs aren’t necessarily as forward [about] where they are personally and individually involved. He has found something effective that works,” Park said.

Jason Smorol wants to be here for the long haul.

He said that the Mets are the second-largest attended sporting event in the city of Syracuse by total number of people and he plans on beating out Syracuse University Basketball to make it the first. Contingent on Syracuse Football’s attendance remaining the same, they’ll have to average just over 2,000 more fans per home game in 2019 to beat them out.

Tony DeFrancesco, the manager of the team, said something about Smorol that has remained a common theme,

“I’ve been around him every day for four months and he makes it very enjoyable to be here.”

High Quality is the Name of the Game for Awesome Games Done Quick Production

High Quality is the Name of the Game for Awesome Games Done Quick Production

February 3, 2019

Photo and Story by Keir Chapman Awesome Games Done Quick (AGDQ) 2019 has drawn thousands of attendees, but they are not the only one’s taking in the event. More than 100,000 viewers who couldn’t be there in person, have flocked to twitch.tv/gamesdonequick to watch every single game. AGDQ’s production team works endlessly to ensure the […]

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Photo and Story by Keir Chapman

Awesome Games Done Quick (AGDQ) 2019 has drawn thousands of attendees, but they are not the only one’s taking in the event. More than 100,000 viewers who couldn’t be there in person, have flocked to twitch.tv/gamesdonequick to watch every single game. AGDQ’s production team works endlessly to ensure the stream goes on without a hitch.

How It’s Made

Next to the main stage sits a platform with a multitude of screens. This is where production resides. The crew members assume many of the same roles one finds at traditional sporting events. A producer runs the show; an audio technician ensures everything sounds crystal clear, and a video technician takes the live video feed and broadcasts it to Twitch.

According to Aharon Turpie, AGDQ’s technical director, the audio technician’s job is particularly difficult to train for. The audio technician is responsible for mixing game audio, the hosts’ audio, and audio from the players’ and commentators’ headsets. The ever-increasing audio elements are putting a strain on AGDQ’s existing soundboard.

“We were like, ‘Oh, we’ll get this digital mixer with 32 inputs and 16 outputs. We’ll never need to update this mixer again,’” Turpie said. “In two events, we maxed it out.”

Setting the Stage

This epitomizes the ever-changing nature of Games Done Quick’s (GDQ) production setup. Turpie joined the team at a time when there was just a single camera and no interview stage. Today, there are seven cameras, four of which reside on the stage-show set.

The addition of a stage show that plays in between runs has created a new production team, completely independent of the crew that works on the gaming stage. By having an independent production setup, the stage shows can prep while games are going on, making transitions to interviews seamless.

The stage show utilizes a four-camera setup, and each camera takes different shots. When live, the producer makes the call for what shot to take next. The fourth camera is centered on a second, smaller set, used for announcing donation prizes. The latest camera is an addition everyone on the GDQ staff supports. The second set, not so much.

“They found that, overall, the second smaller set didn’t play very well with the natural flow of their skits,” Turpie said. “They like four cameras, but maybe for one set.”

Overcoming Obstacles

Speed running inherently creates a production problem. The genre features a wide variety of games, some of which are played on analog consoles like the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, and Atari.

To combat this challenge, the GDQ staff uses an open source scan converter (OSSC), which takes analog video, and converts it into HD quality. The OSSC does so with very little latency, allowing GDQ to stream old-school games to Twitch without any problems.

Another issue GDQ production faces is a small staff. A low budget means there are fewer hands to help out. There is a dashboard for video technicians, which contains a checklist of things needed to be done before each stream. The checklist also lets other team members know what has been accomplished, cutting down on needless communication.

AGDQ also uses a server produced by Support Class, called NodeCG. According to Turpie, this server takes in and manages all of the information the technical team uses. With this information, the server creates an automated system that ensures everyone knows what they need to know.

“It offloads a lot of work from the producer,” Turpie said.

Because the GDQ production staff is so small, they try to nip any potential problems in the bud. This includes meeting with runners before they are scheduled to go on and working through every possible thing that can go wrong during the  stream.

Even with contingency plans in place, unexpected errors do occur. When that happens, there is a chain of command that goes into effect, with Turpie’s generally being the team member most turn to when the problem is too large. A rung beneath him in the technical ladder sit the producers. Although they usually aren’t technicians, Turpie said they are often able to take care of the problem without involving him.

Ever Vigilant

As GDQ continues to grow, the demands on the production team grows alongside it. The crew uses every event to determine what can be changed in the future, so they are ready to meet new challenges created by a larger fanbase.

“We observe where there are problems, delays, and things that our crew and volunteers have trouble following,” Turpie said. “We find ways to not only increase production value, but to also improve the setup complexity, so people can go from run to run as quickly as possible.”

From the gamers to the production staff, it appears everything about GDQ is about accomplishing a task as quick and seamlessly as possible.

Videos

Sports Matters 2017

February 22, 2017

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The Newhouse Sports Media Center hosted Sports Matters, a daylong symposium examining current issues in sports media, on Feb. 22, 2017, on campus. Participants in this panel included: Jason Dumas ’11, sports director, WHAG-TV, Hagerstown, Maryland; Patti Kleinman-Fallick ’78, senior director, broadcast operations, United States Tennis Association; Erika Wachter ’12, sports reporter, Fox 5 New York; and John Wildhack ’80, director of Athletics, Syracuse University. Simon Perez, assistant professor of broadcast and digital journalism at the Newhouse School, was moderator.

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Sports Matters (Panel 2)

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