John Curley Center for Sports Journalism


Studio Photo of John Curley in a dress shirt and tie
John Curley

The John Curley Center for Sports Journalism explores issues and trends in sports journalism through instruction, outreach, programming and research.

The Curley Center's undergraduate curricular emphasis includes courses in sports writing, covering the business of sports, sports data, sports broadcasting and sports information. Along with core courses, the Curley Center places an emphasis on internships and hands-on experience with broadcast, multimedia and print outlets as well as weith league, sport and team publicity operations.

In September 2005, the Center was awarded a $1.5 million grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to establish the Knight Chair in Sports Journalism and Society.

The Center was established in 2003. It was named the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism in September 2006, honoring Curley, whose more than five decades of newspaper experience included work as a reporter, editor, publisher and, ultimately, president, CEO and chairman of the Gannet Co. He was the first editor of USA Today.

Undergraduate Curriculum

Undergraduate Curriculum in Sports Journalism

The Curley Center's undergraduate curricular emphasis includes courses in sports writing, covering the business of sports, sports data, sports broadcasting and sports information. Also, a course on sports and public policy is cross-listed with the Penn State Dickinson School of Law.


Internships in Sports Journalism

The Curley Center's approach includes a strong emphasis on internships. Whether at national organizations (CBS Sports Network, ESPN, or at campus outlets (ComMedia, The Daily Collegian and many more), hands-on opportunities are vital.

Center Highlights

The first on-campus guest lecture conducted under the auspices of the Center featured John Walsh, senior vice president and executive editor of ESPN, in 2003. Since then, the varied group of events and visitors has included broadcasting legends Bob Costas and Brent Musburger and regular meetings of Associated Press sports editors from the region on campus. Some recent highlights follow ...

October 2016

  • Nine students from the Curley Center travel with four faculty members to cover the Rio Paralympics for The Associated Press. Paralympics Coverage
  • Rob King, senior vice president of "SportsCenter" and news for ESPN, presents a free public lecture and meets with classes during a campus visit.

June 2016

  • A team of Curley Center students covers the the U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club as part of a partnership with the USA TODAY Network. 

Feburary 2016

  • Veteran NBA reporter Marc Spears of Yahoo! Sports focuses on "Covering Race, Covering Sports" during an on-campus visit and free public lecture as part of the Conversation Series.
  • Trio of Curley Center students get experience at Super Bowl 50 as one student works with the NFL media relations team and two others cover the game and all that surrounds it for ComMedia.

November 2015

A team of Curley Center students chronicles the Penn State baseball team's historic trip to Cuba as part of a partnership with the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association.

September 2015

Knight Chair and Curley Center director John Aflfleck hosts panel at Schlow Library in State College titled "The Sport of Sportswriting" Panelists include: Harvey Araton of The New York Times, Nancy Armour of USA Today, Filip Bondy of the New York Daily News and author Michael Weinreb, a Penn State alumnus who has writted several books and also contributes regularly to Rolling Stone and other publications.

August 2014

Curley Center students partner with the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Assocation to cover the Croke Park Classic and related events in Ireland.

January 2014

The Curley Center, in conjunction with Investigative Reporters and Editors, hosts a weekend training session on campus.

November 2013

The Curley Center welcomes Jesse Washington, national writer on race and ethnicity for The Associated Press, for a free public session titled "White Ballers, Black Dreamers and Indian Mascots: Covering Race in American Sports” that attracted a standing-room only audience on campus.

September 2013

Author John U. Bacon visits campus to discuss his book about college football, "Fourth and Long."

August 2013

John Affleck, an editor and reporter more than two decades of experience at The Associated Press, becomes the Knight Chair in Sports Journalism and Society. STORY

April 2013

  • Penn State and the Curley Center play host to the annual regional meeting of the Associated Press Sports Editors. 
  • Summer internships begin for the two most recent Penn State students selected through the MLB internship program. STORY

March 2013

The Curley Center honors John Branch of The New York Times with the annual Award for Excellence in Coverage of Youth Sports. LINK

January 2013

The Curley Center welcomes Eric Collins of the Big Ten Network for an on-campus session with students. He serves as keynote speaker for an informational student session conducted at the Bryce Jordan Center before the Michigan State-Penn State men's basketball game.

September 2012

  • The Curley Center conducts a free public session titled "The Future of the NCAA and Its Membership," with a panel that includes two former NCAA presidents. The session at The State Theatre in State College attracts more than 300 people and gets streamed live online. LINK
  • Sports writer Joe Posnanski, author of "Paterno," visits Penn State for a session sponsored by the Curley Center and discusses his book and the issues surrounding. VIDEO (Part 1) / VIDEO (Part 2)

News Coverage

August 2012

Students from the Curley Center work the the U.S. Olympic Committee and provide exclusive coverage of the Olympic Games in London. They also maintain a blog with their insights and opinions and stories about Penn Staters at the Games.

July 2012

  • Knight Chair Malcolm Moran shares insights during a "Penn State Special Report" that airs on the Big Ten Network (July 13, 2012)
  • "Montclair's Emily Kaplan is Olympics-Bound, As Reporter" STORY
  • "Olympics Popular Among Women" and "Why Women Watch the Olympics" focus on research by Curley Center Associate Director Marie Hardin STORY (July 6, 2012) STORY

June 2012

  • Curley Center fenior sellow John Nichols talks about "College Athletics' Broken Model" in The Washington Post STORY
  • Curley Center associate director Marie Hardin writes about Title IX in monthly Curley Center commentary COLUMN
  • PSU Grad Snyder Wins Flamminio Scholarship STORY

May 2012

Knight Chair Malcolm Moran writes "Skowron Has a Knack for Making Memories" in The New York Times STORY

April 2012

  • Curley Center associate director Maire Hardin writes "Winning the Sports Beat: Female Writers Need Wide Angle Lens" for On The Issues Magazine. STORY
  • Rob Rossi of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review accepts Award for Excellence in Coverage of Youth Sports during on-campus ceremony.
  • Senior Audrey Snyder was part of a team from the Reading Eagle (Division II, circulation 40,000-74,999) that was honored with a Keystone Press Award. The team earned second place in the division for its coverage of the firing of Joe Paterno.

March 2012

  • Alumni Mark Viera ('09 Journ) and Wayne Staats ('10 Journ) place among winners in the Associated Press Sports Editors competition. Viera, with Pete Thamel of The New York Times, places first in the Breaking News category among papers with a circulation of more than 175,000. Staats, of the Augusta (Ga.) Chronicle, finishes fifth in the Breaking News category among papers with a circulation of 30,000 to 70,000.
  • Newspaper series on concussions earns Award for Excellence in Coverage of Youth Sports STORY
  • Knight Chair Malcolm Moran earns Jake Wade Award from CoSIDA STORY
  • One of the sports anchors for student-produced TV shows in the College of Communications was named the best in the nation. STORY

January 2012

  • Knight Chair Malcolm Moran writes "Paterno lived and died with football" for The Philadelphia Inquirer
  • Faculty members, including Knight Chair Malcolm Moran, discuss Joe Paterno's death, impact with The Chronicle of Higher Education STORY
  • ComRadio's Patrick Woo and Willie Jungels interview Washington Post columnist Sally Jenkins regarding her interview and subsequent story about Joe Paterno.
  • Knight Chair Malcolm Moran appears on "Basketball and Beyond with Coach K" on Mad Dog Radio and discusses the appointment of Bill O'Brien as the Penn State football coach. AUDIO
  • BCS Logo 2012Knight Chair Malcolm Moran serves as the pool reporter to speak with officials, if necessary, for the fourth consecutive BCS Championship Game. (It was not necessary.)
  • Two Curley Center students prepare to cover Bowl Championship Series national championship game. STORY

December 2011

Knight Chair Malcolm Moran provides some perspective about the ongoing news at Penn State, and the work of students during the situation. an on-campus session. STORY

November 2011

  • Knight Chair Malcolm Moran moderates an on-campus session, "A Conversation About Covering Controversy," featuring: Mark Viera of The New York Times; Sarah Ganim of the Patriot-News from Harrisburg, Pa.; Jerry Micco of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette; Christine Brennan of USA Today; and Jeremy Schaap of ESPN.
  • Knight Chair Malcolm Moran quoted in The Philadelphia Inquirer and appears on variety of radio/TV outlets regarding Penn State situation.
  • Numerous Curley Center alumni drive local, regional and national coverage of the Penn State situation.

October 2011

  • Five Penn State journalism students provide daily coverage of the 16th Pan Am Games as part of an exclusive partnership between the Curley Center and the U.S. Olympic Committee.
  • Basketball experts Jim O'Connell of the Associated Press and Mike Breen of ESPN/ABC make classroom presentations and participate in an evening lecture and question-and-answer session.
  • An online chat addresses "Issues in Covering Initial Eligibility" with Coquese Washington, Penn State women's basketball coach, and Steve Weiberg of USA Today.

August 2011

  • Researchers at Penn State and a study by the Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics find best practices for academic integrity often go unused STORY (Aug. 30, 2011)

July 2011

  • Difference MakersCurley Center alumnus Matt Fortuna, an associate reporter for, covers Derek Jeter's 3,000th hit on July 9. STORY

June 2011

  • "Difference Makers: Life Lessons with Paterno and Krzyzewski" airs June 30 on ESPN and ESPNU.
  • An ESPN taping of the special "Differnce Makers: Life Lessons with Paterno and Krzyzewski" takes place June 20 at Eisenhower Auditorium. Hosted by Rece Davis of ESPN, the session features Penn State football coach Joe Paterno and Duke men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski, as well as Jay Bilas, Matt Millen, Michael Robinson and Jay Williams. The on-campus portion of the event was sponsored by the Curley Center
  • Curley Center advisory board member Ken Denlinger writes a commentary about sports journalism ethics as part of the Center's monthly series of commentaries.

May 2011

  • Six Penn State students -- the most from any college or university in the nation -- began summer internships with, covering individual teams and working in the organization's digital headquarters. Reporters and their summer assignments are: Paul Casella, Chicago White Sox; A.J. Cassavell, Los Angeles Dodgers; Matt Fortuna, New York Yankees; Nate Mink, Philadelphia Phillies; Audrey Snyder, Milwaukee Brewers; and Jeffrey Lowe, who will be working with the overall digital operation.
  • Curley Center advisory board member Jon Jackson writes a commentary about reporters and "spin" as part of the Center's monthly series of commentaries.
  • Curley Center advisory board member Dana O'Neil of writes about locker room access for women in "Tipoff," the U.S. Basketball Writers Association newsletter.

April 2011

  • A meeting of regional members of the Associated Press Sports Editors was conducted April 18 on campus.
  • The presentation of the Award for Excellence in the Coverage of Youth Sports to George Dohrmann was conducted April 15 at the Nittany Lion Inn.

March 2011

  • Final Four 2011Two senior journalism majors and students in the Curley Center, Matt Fortuna and Nate Mink, provided coverage of the Final Four for throughout the event in Houston. That work (part of an exclusive relationship with the NCAA facilitated by Knight Chair Malcolm Moran) and other stories were also featured on Final Four Focus 2011. The opportunity for the student journalists is expected to be part of an annual relationship between the Curley Center and the NCAA at the Final Four.
  • The Curley Center conducts the annual "Full Court Press" sports writing seminar at the Final Four in Houston. Moderated by Knight Chair Malcolm Moran, the panel includes Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Pat Forde of and Jim O'Connell of The Associated Press. Students who attend the session are then credentialed to cover one of the initial days of the Final Four, either Thursday or Friday.
  • The Curley Center conducts its fourth online chat, "Ethical Issues in Coverage of Youth Sports," featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter George Dohrmann, Steve Barr of Little League Baseball and Tracy Greer of the North Country Times.

February 2011

  • Alumna Lisa Salters of ABC/ESPN returns to campus for a presentation coordinated by the All-Sports Museum at Beaver Stadium as part of its programming for Black History Month.
  • The Curley Center conducts is third and, to date, most popular, live online chat. The session addresses "Issues in Covering Recruiting."

January 2011

  • Tom Verducci conversationNearly 200 people converge on the HUB-Robeson Center Auditorium on Jan. 25 for "A Conversation with Tom Verducci," as Knight Chair Malcolm Moran spends an hour discussing sports journalism with Sports Illustrated senior writer Tom Verducci, a Penn State alumnus.
  • "Megamoney Comes from Megadonors at OU and Auburn," an Associated Press by Eddie Pellis regarding the BCS Championship Game participants includes prominent opinion and quotes from retired Penn State communications professor John S. Nichols (Jan. 6, 2011)
  • Senior journalism major Matt Fortuna received honorable mention recognition in the Best Writing Contest sponsored by the Football Writers Association of America. He is the first writer from a student publication to be honored in at least the last 10 contests. His story about the return of former Penn State player Jerome Hayes from multiple knee injuries was entered in the Features category. Steve Richardson, the association's executive director, said he was not aware of another student being honored in the 18-year history of the contest. Fortuna was recognized Monday at the annual FWAA breakfast in Scottsdale, Ariz. After serving as a football beat reporter for The Daily Collegian during the 2009 season, Fortuna covered Penn State football and other sports for the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review last year. He will return for a second season as an associate reporter for this summer. He covered the Pittsburgh Pirates last year. His assignment for 2011 will be covering the New York Yankees.
  • Knight Chair Malcolm Moran, director of the Curley Center, was selected to serve at the pool reporter for the BCS Championship Game for the third year in a row in the event that the officials need to explain a ruling on the field or in the replay booth.

December 2010

  • Knight Chair Malcolm Moran, director of the Center, and alumnus Mark Viera have articles appear side-by-side in sports section of The New York Times on Dec. 19.
  • Knight Chair Malcolm Moran and Marie Hardin, associate professor and associate director of the Curley Center, contribute articles to Nieman Reports Sports, a publication of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University.

November 2010

  • Award-winning on-air talent Leah Secondo, who has handled play-by-play and color commentary duties for outlets such as the Big Ten Network, CBS College Sports, Fox Sports Net and ESPNU meets with students on campus.

November 2010

  • Second Curley Center Chat, "The Intersection Between Fantasy Sports and Sports Coverage: Implications for Journalists and Predictions for Media Organizations," an online panel discussion, features Joe Dolan of and Sirius Satellite Radio; Nate Ravitz, deputy editor for Fantasy Sports; Alexandre Simon, senior director of digital business development for the National Hockey League; and Malcolm Moran.
  • Knight Chair Malcolm Moran participates and the Curley Center helps coordinate three tapings of the television show "Expert Opinion with Graham Spanier" at the Newseum in Washington, D.C. The shows, which will air on the Big Ten Network, include a one-on-one interview with Penn State President Graham Spanier and Mark Emmert, president of the NCAA.

October 2010

  • Alumnus Mark Viera ('09) writes an article for The New York Times about paralyzed Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand, featuring Penn State football player Adam Taliaferro, who recovered from a similar injury.
  • Knight Chair Malcolm Moran participates in a panel discussion titled "Journalism and its Coverage of the Steroid Crisis" at the University of Texas.
  • Initial Curley Center Chat: "Who Should be in the Press Box and Why? Issues in Credentialing Bloggers and Journalists," an online panel discussion, features Michael Signora of the NFL, Jerry Micco of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Knight Chair Malcolm Moran.
  • Alumnus Rich Frank, director of advertising and new media for the Baltimore Orioles, visits campus for a variety of classroom sessions, addressing the sports industry and the differences between consumer marketing and sports marketing, as well the importance and use of social media and other marketing approaches for professional sports.

September 2010

  • Michael Oriard, Distinguished Professor of American Literature and Culture at Oregon State University, and a former walk-on football player and eventual team captain at Notre Dame, presents "A Conversation About College Football, Past and Present" on Sept. 24 during a session with faculty, staff and students interested in sports and sports journalism. Earlier in the day, he was the featured speaker at the Penn State Forum, addressing a similar topic.
  • ESPN Radio's "The Herd with Colin Cowherd" broadcasts live from campus. In addition, Cowherd tapes the TV show "SportsNation" live from campus with broadcast partner Michelle Beadle.
  • Knight Chair Malcolm Moran speaks to undergraduates, graduate students, faculty members and staff members at the student newspaper at the University of Alabama. The sessions were organized by Dr. Jennifer Greer, chair of the journalism department in the College of Communication and Information Sciences. In addition, he serves as a guest on an hour-long television program on WVUA-TV in advance of the Penn State-Alabama football game.

July 2010

  • Curley Center board member Charles Pittman authors an op-ed piece about football coach Joe Paterno for the South Bend Tribune.
  • Knight Chair Malcolm Moran and Marie Hardin, associate director of the Curley Center, participate in an AEJMC Hot Topics online chat titled "Sports and Social Media: Issues and Predictions." Hardin moderates the session while Moran serves as one of the panelists for the event.

April 2010

  • "Full Court Press," annual U.S. Basketball Writers Association of America session for high school and college journalists at the site of the Final Four, coordinated by the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism on April 1. Session includes: Steve Carp of Las Vegas Review Journal; Jim O'Connell of the Associated Press; Dana O'Neil of; and Shannon Shelton of the Detroit Free Press. Session moderated by Knight Chair Malcolm Moran.

March 2010

  • Baseball writer Jayson Stark of ESPN participated in the annual Foster Conference of Distinguished Writers on March 24.
  • Knight Chair Malcolm Moran was quoted in a USA Today article about the NCAA Tournament that appeared on the cover of the paper's March 18 edition.

February 2010

  • Knight Chair Malcolm Moran, director of the Curley Center for Sports Journalism, and Marie Hardin, associate director of the Center, taped segments of "Expert Opinion," which is hosted by Penn State President Graham Spanier and airs on the Big Ten Network.
  • Marie Hardin discusses women in sports as a guest on "To the Point."

December 2009

  • Penn State and the College of Communications again played host to the annual Associate Press Sports Editors meeting.
  • Over a three-day period, John Lowe, of the Detroit Free Press, president of the Baseball Writers Association of America, met with students in class, conducted a separate session with Penn State's numerous candidates for internships with and participated in an installment of the Curley Center's signature Conversation Series.

November 2009

  • "A Conversation with Michael Aresco" provided a programming highlight on Nov. 13 as Curley Center Director Malcolm Moran talked with Michael Aresco, the executive vice president of CBS Sports in Carnegie Cinema.

October 2009

  • Both Curley Center Director Malcolm Moran and Associate Director Marie Hardin were part of separate panel discussions taped for television by the Big Ten Network as part of the regular "Expert Opinion" series hosted by Penn State President Graham Spanier

September 2009

  • George Bodenheimer at IPDuring a jam-packed day with students, faculty and staff from the College of Communications, ESPN President George Bodenheimer (right) started things with a breakfast meeting with Knight Chair Malcolm Moran and Marie Hardin, associate director of the Center for Sports Journalism. Later in the day (after a presentation to some 350 Penn State faculty and staff during the Penn State Forum at the Nittany Lion Inn), Bodenheimer visited the Division of Broadcasting facilities, featuring ComRadio studios and the television studio. He met with students who lead ComRadio, on air and behind the scenes, and with Thor Wasbotton and his students who put together the weekly "Centre County Report" TV news program.
  • Students meet with Big East Conference associate commissioner John Paquette during sports writing classes on campus.

August 2009

  • Mark SilvermanStudents get the opportunity to meet with Big Ten Network President Mark Silverman during a special session conducted the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism at the Nittany Lion Inn.
  • An article titled "Most bloggers aspire to higher standard" appears in Aug. 24-30 edition (Vol, 12, Issue 17) of Sports Business Journal detailing recent research about sports bloggers conducted by the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism.

July 2009

  • A series of three "Expert Opinion" programs focusing on sports make their debut in July on the Big Ten Network. Malcolm Moran, the Knight Chair for Sports Journalism and Society, and director of the Center for Sports Journalism, appears as a guest on one of the shows and helped coordinate guest for all of the programs, which are hosted by Penn State President Graham Spanier. The shows begin airing July 9 on the Big Ten Network.

May 2009

  • On May 23 in Philadelphia, Malcolm Moran and Marie Hardin led a session titled "Head of the Class: Crossing Over Into Academia" at the Association for Women in Sports Media convention. The session was designed to introduce sports journalists to the basics for moving into adjunct or full-time teaching at the college level.

April 2009

  • Chris FowlerOn April 24, ESPN "College GameDay" host Chris Fowler participated in a "conversation" and question-and-answer session with students from the Center. The well-attended session was followed by a news conference with local members of the media for Fowler. Because his visit to campus came the day before the annual Blue-White Game, he visit was especially timely. 
  • An April 19 trip to PNC Park provided the opportunity for sports writing students to cover a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game and meet with beat writers and team officials regarding the relationship between the media and a team.
  • An April 2 article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about the move of western Pennsylvania native John Calipari to Kentucky quoted Malcolm Moran about the long history of high-pay for college coaches.

March 2009

  • In mid-March, Marie Hardin presented "Growing Pains: Women, Sports and the Media" during a special public session at the Penn State All-Sports Museum. She also served as a panelist on disability and gender issues during a symposium at Widener University School of Law on March 16.
  • On March 13 at the Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament, the Center for Sports Journalism coordinated a student journalist seminar. Panelists for the session, created exclusively for student journalists, addressed everything from access at events to advice on career paths.
  • Author and Sports Illustrated writer Michael Bamberger participated in the Foster Conference of Distinguished Writers on campus. His morning session March 4 was attended by more than 300 people.
  • A columnist from The New York Times includeD the perspective of Marie Hardin, the Center's associate director, in a March 3 story about the Alex Rodriguez case--and accompanying media coverage. STORY

February 2009

  • A columnist from Newsday features a perspective from Knight Chair Malcolm Moran and the Center for Sports Journalism regarding the media's duty in the Alex Rodriguez case. STORY
  • A crowd with a mix of students, University faculty and staff and members of the community attended the Feb. 19 event -- "A Conversation with John Feinstein" in the Forum Building.
  • Several Penn State alumni from the College of Communications and members of the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism played important roles during Super Bowl XLIII. Those people hold positions with the NFL, as members of the media or as members of companies that support media groups. A story on Penn State Live documented the involvement.

January 2009

  • Knight Chair Malcom Moran asked to create an ethics policy for members of the Football Writers Association of America. He also served as the pool reporter for the BCS Championship Game in Miami and was assigned to speak to game officials in the event of a controversy that affected the outcome of the game. Additionally, at the recently completed NCAA Convention, Moran became secretary-treasurer of the Forum for the Scholarly Study of Intercollegiate Athletics in Higher Education and will serve on the group's board of directors through 2011. Also at the Convention, he was part of a panel discussion titled "Engaging Your Local Division II Media: Building Relationships and Telling Great Stories."
  • On Jan. 23, students visited studios and met with officials and on-air talent at MLB-TV in New Jersey. As part of that same trip, students visited the Yogi Berra Museum for baseball-related panel discussions featuring major-marked broadcasters and writers.