Author: Mackenzie Aucker

Blog #18: Why You Should Take COMM 360

Since I have ran out of controversial topics to talk about that take place in college sports, I thought I would switch it up. Today I am going to talk about why you should take COMM 360, a class that is offered here at IUP.

What is COMM 360? COMM 360 is a live digital sports production course. In the course, you help set up and tear down a live sports production set. The students in the COMM 360 class are the ones that live stream IUP’s home football games in the fall semester and the Men and Women’s home basketball games in the spring semester. There are many positions you can try out and do in the class such as director, make the graphics for the class, color and play-by-play announcer, sideline reporter, camera operator, director, producer, technical director, audio operator, and slow-motion operator.

Why should you take COMM 360? You should take the class if you want a job in sports broadcasting. This class gives you the full hands on experience. I took the class because when I graduate from IUP this December, I want a job in sports broadcasting as a sideline reporter. This class gave me the opportunity to see what goes on before, during, and after a live sports production. Before taking this class, I knew nothing about what it takes to live stream a live sports production. After taking this class for football and basketball, I know what it takes to put on a live sports production for these sports.

Hope this was helpful! Unfortunately COMM 360 is not going to happen this semester because the PSAC has canceled all fall sports. Hopefully for those of you that want to take it can take it in the spring for basketball. Don’t forget to share this post and blog to your friends and family!


Blog #20: Why You Should Work in the IUP Sports Information Department

For the last and final blog, I am going to tell you guys why you should work in the IUP Sports Information Department. If I was not doing an internship this semester, I would be working there again.

If you want a job in the sports field when you graduate, then you should consider working in the IUP Sports Information Department. Not only does it look good on your resume, you will have the best hands on experience. While working in the IUP Sports Information Department, you will be working at mostly all of the athletic events at IUP. The only athletic events you won’t be working at are tennis, golf, and swim, unless you are there to take pictures for them. While working there, you will take up many positions, such as typing in stats on the computer, live tweeting the game, taking pictures of athletes, calling the game, and working the scoreboard. Along with working at the athletic events, you will also have office hours. For office hours, you will go in there once or twice a week or more and working two hours or more depending on your schedule. During office hours, depending on what you are good at, you could be editing videos and graphics to be shown on Twitter and Instagram and writing pre and post game stories. If you are going into working your second year there, you get to pick a sport you would like to be a contact for. As a contact you will be editing the sport that you chose program, sending out the word and TSA rosters to away team’s sports information director, and sending them the results at the end of the game.

Hope you enjoyed all of the blog posts I have written and that you consider working in the sports information department at IUP. Don’t forget to share this post and blog to your friends and family!


Blog #19: Cancellation of Fall PSAC Sports at IUP

On July 14th, 2020, the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference announced the cancellation of all fall 2020 sports due to COVID-19. This was not a surprise because a lot of other college athletic conferences in the U.S. have canceled their fall 2020 seasons. These fall sports will hopefully be played in spring 2021.

When I heard the news, I was very sad. Not only does this effect me because I work in the Sports Information department with Ryan Rebholz, but is also effects all of the student-athletes who play a sport in the fall. I, including the student-athletes at IUP and fans of IUP sports, were looking forward to fall sports. Fall sports are my favorite since I love football season. I am sad for the student-athletes at IUP because they have worked so hard in the spring and all summer to play in the fall and now they are not playing. Since IUP announced that only freshmen are allowed on campus for the Fall 2020 Semester, there is a lot of uncertainty if athletes will be allowed on campus.

What do you guys think? Did the PSAC make the right decision on canceling fall sports? Sound off in the comments below! Don’t forget to share this post and blog to your friends and family!


Blog #17: College Athletes and Sexism from Media Outlets

College athlete’s lives are out in the open, especially if they are an elite division I player. Fans, including media outlets, are very interested in their lives outside of the sport that they play. It is mostly the female athlete’s life they are interested in. Reporters even sometimes ask irrelevant and inappropriate questions.

This is frustrating because when the athlete is getting ready for the interview, they think they are going to be asked questions about the game and how their performance was during the game. In a YouTube video that came out five years ago, male athletes were asked outrageous questions such as being asked about their love life and being asked to give a “twirl” while wearing their uniform. These male athletes were shocked when they were asked these questions, as they should have been. Those are the same questions that female athletes have been asked by reporters. Reporters do not care to comment on how the female athlete has played. They only focus on their emotions and appearance.

The solution to this problem is to stop asking female athletes these questions. They do not want to be asked about their love life, to do a twirl to show off their uniform, or about their emotions. They probably want to asked about their performance in the game and about the team that they play on.

What do you guys think? Do you think that female athletes are asked inappropriate and irrelevant questions by reporters? Sound off in the comments below! Don’t forget to share this post and blog to your friends and family!


Blog #16: College Athletes and Sexism

When you watch college sports on TV, the ones that are always showcased are men’s sports. I like watching men’s sports just as much as everyone else does. Men’s sports are the ones who make more money for the colleges and universities, especially football and basketball. They get all of the coverage. Unfortunately, women’s sports do not get as much coverage as men’s sports do.

This is frustrating because I also love watching women’s sports as well. I think they are just as talented and even more talented than the men’s sports. They have to work twice as hard because, well, they are a woman. According to Yahoo Sports, “a 25-year -long study showed that local news outlets spend only 3% of their airtime covering women’s sports, with ESPN allocating a mere 2% of its coverage.” This makes total sense because when I want to watch a Penn State field hockey game I sometimes have to keep flipping through the channels to look for it or I have to watch it on my laptop through a live stream instead.

A solution to this problem is to obviously start showing women’s sports more on TV and give them the coverage they deserve. They are just as hard-working, dedicated, and passionate as the men.

What do you guys think? Do you think that women’s sports should get more coverage? Sound off in the comments below! Don’t forget to share this post and blog to your friends and family!


Blog #15: College Athletes and Homelessness

“Home is where the heart is” is one of my favorite sayings because it is true. This saying is more relevant now than it ever has been. A home is a place where you can relax by yourself and with your friends and family. Sadly, not everyone has a place to call home.

According to the Huffington Post in 2014, more than 100,000 High School and College athletes are homeless. Many of these athletes have secured a spot on their schools but they do not have a place to sleep. This is frustrating and sad because everyone should have a place to call home, especially college and high school athletes. The article, “More Than 100,000 High School, College Athletes Are Homeless” by the Huffington Post mentions about a high school lineman Bobby Limon. College recruiters were constantly tried contacting him and he did not even know it because he had moved around so many times that there was no designated address to contact him at.

A solution to this problem is already somewhat solved. When college athletes receive their scholarship, room and board is included in it. Some coaches are uncertain if they should recruit an athlete who is homeless but many of these homeless athletes see getting recruited by a division I school as their ticket to finally having somewhere to eat, live, sleep, and shower.

What do you guys think? Should more be done to help college and high school athletes that are homeless? Sound off in the comments below! Don’t forget to share this post and blog to your friends and family!


Blog #14: College Athletes and Mental Health

Health is wealth. Especially if you are a college athlete. Mental health is also wealth. From the outside looking in, college athletes seem like the most happy, upbeat people. When they are interviewed they always have a big smile on their face and their personality really shines through. Although they seem happy in interviews and on their social media, everything is not what it seems.

According to Athletes for Hope, “up to 35% of elite athletes suffer from mental health problems.” Out of that percentage, many are afraid to seek help and speak out on it. When I was on the field hockey team my freshman year at IUP, I was required to take a health and wellness class with the other athletes there. One day in class, we had to watch a video on being a college athlete and mental health. It was about a football player at a division I school who was suffering from depression. He was saying he should not be depressed because he had a lot of things to be happy about. Overtime his depression got worse. He was not showing up to practice anymore and his grades were slipping. He finally realized he needed help so he got it.

A solution for college athletes who suffer from mental health problems is to please get help! Your mental health is so incredibly important! If you are feeling down or depressed tell your teammate, coach, or athletic trainer. You matter! I feel like another solution to this problem is to educate players, coaches, and other athletic staff on mental health. It is not talked about enough. Too many young people are taking their lives and it is saddening. Not only should sports psychologists be on division  I campuses, they should also be on division II and III campuses.

What do you guys think? Do you think that mental health should be taken more seriously when it comes to college athletes? Sound off in the comments below! Don’t forget to share this post and blog to your friends and family!


Blog #13: College Athletes and Social Media

Social media is on the rise and still is today. Social media allows you to communicate with anyone and everyone around the world. It could help you build up your career and business. Not only can social media help you but it can also hurt you, especially if you are a soon to be college athlete.

The only people that this would frustrate is the athlete themselves. Yes, it is their social media page and they can post whatever they want but at the same time they need to be careful about what they do and say. Today, it seems like everyone’s favorite thing to do is go way back in time and see what people said on social media, especially on Twitter. An example of this is Bradley Patterson. Patterson was a football player at the University of Alabama. Patterson got in trouble when he tweeted insulting comments about then U.S. President Obama. This resulted in him getting kicked off the team.

A solution to this problem is to just have common sense. Think before you Tweet or post something on social media. If you think what you are about to Tweet or post is going to offend someone, do not post it. Instead share it with your friends instead of sharing it to the world. To somewhat get around this situation, put all of your profiles on private, do not use your real name, and do not make your profile picture of yourself.

What do you guys think? Do you think that athletes should still be allowed on social media? Sound off in the comments below! Don’t forget to share this post and blog to your friends and family!


Blog #12: College Athletes and Getting Drafted

When the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL draft come around it is not only an exciting time for the fans, but also the colleges athletes who are entering the draft. It is exciting to see who will be the #1 overall pick each year. Although it is an exciting time for those who do get drafted, it is not an exciting time for those who unfortunately do not get drafted.

It frustrates athletes when they do not get drafted. They have worked so hard to make it this far, so it is really upsetting and discouraging to them. When it comes to going pro, only 2% of NCCA athletes make it to that level. This reminds me of when my cousin entered the NFL draft a few years ago. He unfortunately did not get drafted, but he became a free agent with the now Washington Football team. When the rosters were announced for the team, he sadly did not make it. But that is okay because like my great-grandmother always said, “It is not going to put food on the table or get you a house. A job will get you those things.”

A solution to this problem is if the student-athlete does not get drafted or make it to the team’s roster, they should be able to go back to their sport at their school and finish through their senior year. The reason why they cannot do this though is because once they declare for the draft, they lose the rest of their eligibility. This problem was somewhat solved, when the NCAA announced two years ago that undrafted basketball players were allowed to return to their schools and have agents.

What do you guys think? Do you think that athletes who do not get drafted should be allowed back to their schools to play again? Sound off in the comments below! Don’t forget to share this post and blog to your friends and family!


Blog #11: College Athletes and Title IX

What is Title IX? Title IX “prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs receiving Federal financial assistance. Athletics are considered apart of an institution’s education program and are therefore covered by this law. Although Title IX protects college athletes, it does more harm than good.

There are some frustrations when it comes to Title IX. For one of my Sport Administration classes I took this past spring, I had to read an article about Title IX. In the article, a mother was frustrated because her son’s cross country team was getting cut due to budgeting reasons. The team was also being cut because a women’s sports team was being added. This upset the mother and was going on about how Title IX hurts men’s sports more than it does women’s sports. But that is not the case. Another frustration when it comes to Title IX according to NSCA, “although women in division I colleges are 53 percent of the student body, they receive only 41 percent of the opportunities to play sports, 36 percent of overall athletic operating budgets, and 32 percent of the dollars spend to recruit new athletes.”

A solution to this problem is to give equal opportunity for women’s sports. They are already under represented enough in college athletics. It is time for this to no longer be a problem.

What do you guys think? Do you think that Title IX hurts college athletes rather than help them? Sound off in the comments below! Don’t forget to share this post and blog to your friends and family!


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