There are millions of aspiring sports journalists out there.
Some even take it a step further by dedicating themselves to a site like this and refining their craft through editing and gradually building an interactive readership.
So isn't it aggravating when some journeyman athlete shows up on ESPN in your dream job without any training or understanding of journalism? (Particularly if they don't add any unique insight or constantly fumble on camera.)
The NBA understands this. So do self-aware players like Shaquille O'Neal.
That's why he is in Syracuse this week, and why they teamed up with Syracuse University to create Sportscaster U.
Sportscaster U is a program thought up by the NBA Players Association, so players with an interest in pursuing broadcasting after playing could have a crash course with the necessary training.
The NBPA brought the idea to SU because of their sports journalism pedigree (see the two names above, plus Sean McDonough and countless others). The program is now in its second year, and is run by two adjunct professors—ESPN personality Dave Ryan and local "Voice of the Orange" Matt Park.
Eric Snow may have been the most notable graduate from year one of the program, but Shaq is the center of attention in Year Two (pun unintended). Ironically, he's had to deal with a ton of media coverage while training to cover his (future) former peers.
Shaq has been personable with the media his entire career and has played under great coaches like Phil Jackson and Lenny Wilkens. It seems like he would be a great TV analyst some day.
Any other current players you think could make the jump to broadcasting? Any current broadcasters you think could have used this training?