The Denison Sports Network: From the Ground Up

JACK WHITE, Staff Writer—At Denison University there is no opportunity to major or minor in Broadcasting. However, there are numerous students that are passionate about learning the various skills within the world of the broadcasting industry. There is an outlet where students can express and share their desire in wanting to acquire deeper knowledge behind the world of media.

This outlet is known as Denison Sports Network, or DSN for short.

In 2002, Craig Hicks, Assistant Athletic Director for Athletic Communications, was hired here at Denison. When first beginning the job Hicks was the only Sports Information Director (SID) for six to seven years. Hicks said, “Having to cover all of the sports by myself was very limiting in regards to what I could take on. Occasionally, the Doobie would come down and help out with games, but I didn’t like the lack of control or consistency.” 

In 2008, Hicks finally received an assistant, Jason Miller. He was looking to develop and evolve the DSN. Initially, Hicks said, “I was very nervous if whether or not we would be sustainable.” 17 years later, this broadcast organization has only trended upward and they aren’t settling. The DSN continues to take the proper means to expand and build upon the groundwork established. However, they need the continued assistance from the student body. Hicks expressed, “with wanting to add streaming and live stats during athletic events this was going to need to be primarily a student based team of employees.” 

In the grand scheme of things, there was no need to worry about the potential issue of sustainability. Hicks said, “There are a lot of people on this campus that care a lot about sports, that want to be involved. I knew we would be filling a void here at Denison and I am most proud of how far this has come. Given that we act like a team, where there is comradery, friendships are formed, and you get to make great connections as well.” 

Curt Ashcraft, Assistant Director of Athletic Communications in the Department of Athletics, has been with Denison since 2016. Ashcraft said his favorite part about working at Denison is “being able to see when students get it. When you take time after time, after time, after time, teaching them little things such as, running a streaming software, teaching them the do’s and don’ts of broadcasting, and what we expect on a stats level. Then when I finally see it click and you see that lightbulb go off and they put into action, that is greater than any broadcast I’ve ever done or award I’ll ever win. This is when I’m the happiest.” 

At the beginning of another school year, Hicks’ Student Assistant, Shea McMahon, was up in the booth broadcasting a men’s soccer game. As McMahon began to sign off he became tongue tied and didn’t know what to say. Hicks said, “He awkwardly stumbled out of that and then he asked me during the broadcast ‘what the hell are we calling this?’ Then that’s when Hicks responded without hesitation, The Denison Sports Network.

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