ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap Opens Up with Students

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ESPN’s Jeremy Schaap Opens Up with Students
Apr 25, 2013

Jeremy Schaap entered the business of his father, Dick Schaap, who was a famous journalist and broadcaster. Like his father, Jeremy attended Cornell University gaining experience writing and editing for the school’s daily newspaper. Once in the business Schaap faced a lot of expectations based on the respect his father had earned.

In a now infamous interview with Bob Knight, Knight called out Schaap saying, “You have a long way to go to be as good as your dad. You better keep that in mind.” That interview showcased Knight’s over the top personality and aggression soon after the coach had been fired by Indiana University and Schaap’s ability to keep his cool in a heated interview. Knight and Schaap are now colleagues at ESPN but they have not spoken since the interview.

Schaap, also, had an uncomfortable encounter with world champion chess player, Bobby Fisher. At a press conference in Iceland Fischer called Schaap’s father a Jewish snake because he had said Fischer did not have a sane bone in his body. Schaap stood up for his father and left the press conference more sad then angry at Fischer.

Most recently, Schaap was on hand to anchor ESPN’s coverage of the Boston Marathon bombings due to a coincidence of schedule. Students and professors asked him about covering such an event where misinformation was rampant.

“I think we exercised appropriate caution,” Schaap said. “The focus was on what do we know.”

Schaap’s work for ESPN has earned him six Emmy awards and the respect of many across the sporting world. This respect has come from his great commitment and work ethic. He spoke to the journalism students in Eaton Theater Wednesday afternoon of the importance of being the hardest worker. His father taught him it is easy to identify those who work hard and they are the ones given the opportunity to show their talent.

Though he acknowledges that keeping up with the changing trends in media is important, that hard work aspect of being a journalist is paramount.

“I’m still not totally comfortable in the digital universe,” said Schaap. “When I got out of college, there was no internet. I didn’t have a cell phone for my first six years at ESPN.”

Schaap has gotten the opportunity as an anchor of the Outside the Lines to cover for ESPN many of the recent breaking news stories that transcend sports. Schaap was anchoring the program when the video of Rutgers University head coach Mike Rice abusing his players came out. He had an on-air interview with the Rutgers Athletic Director Tim Pernetti giving the breaking news about the Mike Rice scandal. He was also the anchor this past Monday when the scheduled discussion about Kobe Bryant’s injury was interrupted with the news of the bombing at the Boston Marathon. He anchored the coverage as Outside the Lines stayed on the air past their scheduled end time. Schaap was live on ESPN gathering the early information from Boston until after 8 pm.

In January, when the biggest sports story became front page news Schaap scored the big time interview. Manti Te’o spoke to Schaap for 2 ½ hours in an off-camera interview about the catfishing incident. Schaap and ESPN wanted to interview Te’o on camera but Te’o would not allow it saying he would be more comfortable without cameras. Schaap was able to unravel this unprecedented sports story giving the country a look into Te’o’s perspective that was unclear until this interview.

Schaap’s work on the E:60 program covers international sports culture events such as corrective rape of female athletes in South Africa. Also, he has written two books about sports culture Cinderella Man: James J. Braddock, Max Baer, and the Greatest Upset in Boxing History and Triumph: The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Hitler’s Olympics.

Despite working for ESPN Schaap admits to not spending his time watching everyday ESPN programs like Around the Horn or PTI.  He does not concern himself with everyday sports coverage such as breaking down the new look of the Ravens secondary. Instead he listens to NPR 8 to 10 hours a day while working from his home office. The combination of the sports world and the news world has given Schaap the ability to report on the stories that go beyond sports.

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George Solomon with ESPN's Jeremy Schaap.

Photo Credit: Samantha Medney

Jeremy Schaap discusses the sports world with students.

Photo Credit: Samantha Medney

Jeremy Schaap signing his name on the Povich Center's wall.

Photo Credit: Samantha Medney

Jeremy Schaap's signature on the wall.

Photo Credit: Samantha Medney

George Solomon moderated the discussion.

Photo Credit: Samantha Medney

George Solomon and Jeremy Schaap.

Photo Credit: Samantha Medney

Jeremy Schaap answers one of George Solomon's questions.

Photo Credit: Samantha Medney

George Solomon asking a question.

Photo Credit: Samantha Medney

George Solomon and Jeremy Schaap discuss sports journalism.

Photo Credit: Samantha Medney

Jeremy Schaap shaking George Solomon's hand.

Photo Credit: Samantha Medney

Jeremy Schaap answering student's questions.

Photo Credit: Samantha Medney

CNS TV's Sue Kopen Katcef take a picture of the event.

Photo Credit: Samantha Medney

There was a great turn out to listen to Jeremy Schaap discuss sports media.

Photo Credit: Samantha Medney

Jeremy Schaap answering questions.

Photo Credit: Samantha Medney

Jeremy Schaap answering questions.

Photo Credit: Samantha Medney

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