Ohio Athletics issued a release Thursday accentuating its value to the university through employment and internship opportunities for students.
Called a “learning laboratory” the release listed the names of more than 200 Ohio University students of varying degrees and majors who “gain valuable, hands-on experience” working with Intercollegiate Athletics. The students work in anything from facilities to media relations and are both undergraduate and graduate students. Although many students are studying sport management or sports administration, more than 10 majors were represented.
“It is fair to say that the university and intercollegiate athletics have always worked hand in hand on this stuff,” said Jason Corriher, assistant athletics director for media relations. “We always used our undergraduate and graduate (students). … We have always tapped into that resource.”
Becky Watts, chief of staff to OU President Roderick McDavis, said a program like this is vital to a good athletic program and to the university.
“It provides students an opportunity to engage and learn in different things,” Watts said. “It’s an important part in looking at intercollegiate athletics is a part of the total university — it’s not something that is separate and apart.”
Watts said that if OU ever dropped a division in athletics, it would inadvertently affect the students who are involved with the athletic department — the very students named in the release.
“When you move to a different division, it has an effect on the number of student athletes you have, or it has an effect on the number of scholarships,” she said. “So it certainly affects the access for students to Ohio University.”
Brian Boesch, a senior studying broadcast journalism, said that the experience he has had announcing games for Ohio Athletics has helped him tremendously when it comes to finding internships before he graduates next fall.
“I am currently in Texas with the Frisco RoughRiders, who are a AA baseball program for the Texas Rangers, doing an internship,” he said. “So right now I am doing a job that no other college kid even got to interview for, which is pretty cool and goes to show that my opportunities in Ohio are very important.”