Friday, August 22, 2008

Dress for respect at practices (and no cheering in the press box)

As you head out to practices for interviews the first few weeks of class, please (please!) make sure you dress professionally. Yes, you may be a college student. And, yes, you may be running to practice right after class. But you can still dress professionally for your sports gig. Don't wear t-shirts that promote drinking or say 'I'm with stupid' and don't wear ripped, cruddy hats. (And never wear them backward.) Take some pride in your profession. Shorts are fine for practices, but try to wear a collared shirt. Coaches and sports information directors will take you more seriously for your efforts. I recently polled 79 sports information directors who said college journalists rarely act or dress professionally . Nearly 55 percent of SIDs said students never, or rarely, dress professionally for interviews or at games. Only 7.6 percent of students usually, or always dressed, appropriately, they claimed. Yet, countless college sportswriters complain they are not treated like the professional reporters. Act professionally if you expect to be treated with respect.

One more thing: No cheering in the press box. Yes, you may be assigned to cover your university, but you may not cheer, clap or high-five others. You are supposed to be an objective observer. If you want to cheer, go buy a ticket and sit in the stands.



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