SBD/Issue 141/Sports & Society

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  • Sports Media Pays Its Respects To Virginia Tech Tragedy

    Sports World Mourns Victims
    Of Virginia Tech Shootings

    Following the tragic shootings and deaths at Virginia Tech yesterday, the school canceled all athletic practices scheduled for yesterday and today, and the only game affected, a softball game today at East Tennessee State Univ., has also been canceled, according to Mark Berman of the ROANOKE TIMES. Baseball coach Pete Hughes said that he did not know if tomorrow’s home game against William & Mary will be played, and football coach Frank Beamer said that “discussions will take place today” about this week’s events, which include an annual intrasquad game on Saturday (ROANOKE TIMES, 4/17).

    SCARY MOMENT FOR DAVID WRIGHT: In N.Y., Mark Hale notes Stephen Wright, the brother of Mets 3B David Wright, is an engineering major at Virginia Tech, but was not in the engineering classroom building during the second attack that claimed most of the victims. David said he thought his brother was supposed to be in "class in that building later in the day" (N.Y. POST, 4/17).

    TIKI RE-ASSIGNED: NEWSDAY’s Neil Best reports that NBC’s Tiki Barber, who was scheduled to do his first report on the “Today” show this morning, was sent to Blacksburg, Virginia, to cover the shootings. Barber is a native of nearby Roanoke. His parents met at Virginia Tech, where his father played football in the ’70s (NEWSDAY, 4/17). Barber’s three-minute report today covered the community’s initial reaction to the shootings, and he met with groups of students on the Virginia Tech campus (“Today,” NBC, 4/17).

    Virginia Tech Athletics Web Site Providing
    Updates From Yesterday's Tragedy

    COVERING THE BREAKING NEWS: Several sports media outlets are covering the Virginia Tech tragedy. ESPN.com, SI.com, FoxSports.com and CBSSportsline.com all had the story on their respective home pages immediately after it broke yesterday, and all continue to have coverage on their sites today. ESPN.com has a box in the upper-right portion of the home page with a link to an ABC News report, as well as statements from Virginia Tech President Charles Steger, men’s basketball coach Seth Greenberg and Beamer. SI.com has a link to a CNN report, and FoxSports.com links to an MSN report. CBS SportsLine.com is covering the story in the “Today on CBS” news section of the home page. Meanwhile, Virginia Tech’s athletics Web site, HokieSports.com, features a black background with a picture of a campus building above text that matches the updates on the university’s official Web site, including a link to a special section. The bottom of the page offers a link to continue to HokieSports.com, as well as the site’s normal links to the university, ACC and NCAA Web sites (THE DAILY).

    TV MONITOR: ESPNews covered the events throughout its afternoon telecast yesterday. The 4:00pm ET edition of ESPN’s “SportsCenter Special” led with a report on the shooting. ESPN’s Jim Rome led his 4:30pm show by saying, “It is difficult to talk about sports on a day like today, and before we begin our show, we want to send our heartfelt sympathy to everybody at Virginia Tech.” The roundtable segment of the show also featured a discussion on the tragedy with Rome, ESPN.com’s Eric Neel and Washington Post columnist Mike Wise. ESPN’s “PTI” led with the story. It was the third report on the 6:00pm ET edition of “SportsCenter” with a follow-up later in the show. The report included a statement from Beamer and news that all 110 football players were safe. The halftime report of ESPN2’s broadcast of the Soul-Desperados AFL game began with Stan Verrett reporting the latest news on the shootings. The 11:00pm edition of “SportsCenter” featured the shootings as the fourth report. FSN’s “Final Score” led with the shootings followed by highlights of Braves-Nationals, where there was a moment of silence before the first pitch. NFL Network’s “NFL Total Access” noted the story with the second report in an “NFL Network Now” news update (THE DAILY).

    Print | Tags: Atlanta Braves, ESPN, News Corp./Fox, Sports in Society, Time Warner, Walt Disney, Washington Nationals
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