SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — ESPN’s Bob Ley taught a master class Nov. 12 at Seton Hall University for 30 students. The class, “Sports Journalism and Its Challenges,” was by invitation only and included 18 students from the “introduction to sports media” class taught by professional-in-residence B.J. Schecter, as well as four students each chosen from the sports marketing program in the Stillman School of Business; the visual and sound media program in the College of Communication and the Arts; and WSOU, the university’s award-winning student-run radio station.
Ley, who graduated magna cum laude from Seton Hall in 1976, got his start in broadcasting as a sportscaster and program director at WSOU. For much of his career at ESPN — which started just three days after the network’s launch in 1979 — Ley hosted “SportsCenter.” Since its inception in 1990, Ley has hosted ESPN’s in-depth investigative program “Outside the Lines.” Ley has won multiple Emmy Awards for his work at ESPN. The longest tenured sports reporter at the network, he has recently taken a six-month sabbatical.
“Returning home to Seton Hall to teach this class is very meaningful for me,” Ley said. “What I learned here as a student gave me the tools and the grounding to not only work in the industry, but help to create programming that’s essentially become a part of the wider culture. A 24-hour sports network was unheard of in 1979, just as ‘Outside the Lines,’ using investigative journalism in the world of sports, was new in 1990.
“Now, with the ever-changing digital age, today’s students have their own opportunities to develop new content and push new boundaries — as long as they’re prepared for the challenges of 21st-century sports media,” he continued.