Sports information is ‘the public relations of athetics’

The sports information department in Kennamer Hall is responsible for distributing information on all of JSU’s 17 university-sponsored sports.

The department serves as a mediator between the teams and coaches and the media. The office distributes press releases, statistics, and media guides.

“We’re here for the student athletes” said Tony Schmidt, assistant sports information director. “They have a story to tell; we just have to tell it. We call [our department] the public relations of athletics. We’re in charge of publicity and getting the word out to the media and the public,” Schmidt said.

The department is also responsible for arranging interviews with players. Any member of the media, who wants to interview a player, has to arrange it with the department first.

The department will also work to handle a situation, such as an athlete getting arrested.  “Athletes know that they live in a fish bowl. Everyone is going to see [what they do], so we try to handle that as best we can,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt is responsible for women’s soccer, cross country track and field, men’s and women’s tennis, women’s basketball, rifle and baseball. During football season, everyone in the department is involved. Workers print the game programs and prepare the stadium on Fridays by taking computers, paper, and even drinks and ice cream to the stadium.

The department also invites students to work in the department.

“We do hand out a few scholarships. They’re books and a little bit of money, Schmidt said. They also have students who are involved with work-study programs in the department.

Graduate assistant Daniel Porter said that on game day, “you will be the first to arrive and the last to leave.”

Porter started out as a student worker. He said he enjoyed it because he felt that he was always involved with something on campus.

Schmidt said they gain a lot of experience and meet several people. Student workers are responsible for calling out statistics, answering phones and setting up barricades on game day.

“We’re kind of the voice of athletics,” Schmidt said.

Alexander Cooper
Staff Reporter

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