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Ball State Sports Link: Leading the Way

Written By: Matt Organ / @mattorgan5
Member of Ball State Sports Link

What a weekend!

In 48 hours last week, Ball State Sports Link produced two live remote remotes on ESPN 3. As awesome as that was, it wasn’t just this weekend or just those two broadcasts. It’s just what we do.

While preparing for the live remotes, we have also been working on our second live Game Day show this Saturday, the premiere of our all-access football show, airing our digital broadcasts on ballstatesports.com, working on features stories and expanding this very web site. Sports Link prepares students to work in the sports media industry better than any other program.

My work in Sports Link helped me get an internship with the University of Virginia athletics video services this past summer. My boss and coworkers were wonderful and I got a lot out of my time there.

During one of my last weeks there, my boss asked me what Ball State Sports Link does differently than everyone else. He saw that we had won a few SVG awards and wanted to know how we keep making great content.

I thought about it for a second and I broke it down into three reasons of why Ball State Sports Link is the best in Collegiate Digital Sports Production and Broadcasting.

First, I’ve never been a part of a group before that not only is incredibly talented, but also is as motivated as the people in Sports Link.

We push ourselves to do things that other groups think are not possible. We have incredibly high standards for our work and we don’t accept mediocrity. We go the extra mile in our research, our preparation and our execution. We don’t stick with the status quo; instead we reinvent the way we do things.

Although we are confident in our abilities, we are constantly trying to find ways to improve them. We take initiative and ask for help when we need it. The unmotivated ones don’t make it in Sports Link and it becomes obvious who is motivated and wants to work to get better, and who doesn’t.

Second, we have a University and an Athletic Department that not only believes in us, but also trusts us. Ball State President Ferguson recently announced that Ball State Sports Link is a recipient of an Academic Excellence Grant. There were over 100 applications for these grants, but only 16 were funded.  The grant will allow Sports Link to grow and provide new and additional equipment to give students the best learning experience possible.

The athletic department trusts us to not only produce high quality content, but also to produce content that enhances the experience for Ball State athletes and fans. We get access that others don’t and we have the freedom to be creative. All these things were not just given to us; we earned them. The trust was being built before I even got here, and is constantly being strengthened. We could not do what we do without the help of the athletics department.

Third, and to me the most important one, we have a group that is very close and cares about each other. I know if I have a problem, I can count on the people in Sports Link to help me. If I want an honest opinion, they will give it to me. If I need to work on something, it will be pointed out to me in a positive way. We push each other to be better and to improve. We are there for the good times and for the bad times.

Our leaders see us as more than just their students. The Senior Director of Sports Link is Chris Taylor, but we call him “CT”. We call him CT out of respect, because he is more than just our instructor. We call the Director of Sports Link AK for the same reason. They give up so much of their time to help us. I guarantee you will not find another professor who cares about their students as much as CT and AK care about us.

Yes, Ball State is a MAC school. It is also true we may not have the money, or be in a media market like Syracuse or SEC schools, but it doesn’t matter. There is a reason my boss wanted to know more about Sports Link. There is a reason other schools come and tour our facilities and shadow us to see what we do. It’s because there isn’t another program in the world willing to do what Ball State Sports Link does, and prepare students as well as Ball State does.

About Matt Organ (4 Articles)
Executive Producer of "Out of the Shadows." I spend my time studying leadership, public policy, and of course... sports.

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