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BAMMA SLAMMA

“There are over 360,000 NCAA student-athletes and just about all of us will be going pro in something other than sports.”

That praiseworthy turn of phrase concludes a recent ad campaign by the NCAA.

In turn, it reminds me of something entirely different.

When that commercial has finished punctuating a TV timeout during a recent sporting event, we viewers are immediately presented with a studio stocked with unctuous smiles and harmonious names.

By the time Jim Nantz or Tim Brando or Greg Gumbel or John Saunders delivers his first statement to a network television audience of millions, we are greeted with the above statement’s peculiar obverse:

The educated non-athletes who do go pro in sports.

Who are these crazy people?And how did they get there?

They aren’t just award-winning sportscasters.

They’re also writers, directors, agents, lawyers, coaches, CEOs and CFOs. They are so preoccupied by sportson the field and in the fieldthat they might as well go pro to save the time.

And they took Ec10 just like you.

That’s because sports-nuts-for-hire matriculate from every corner of higher education, especially Harvard College. Measured against the legions of OCS on-campus recruiting drones, they hardly seem to register.

But they are here.

Harvardians have plied their trade in virtually every field of sports management (reference Los Angeles Dodgers GM Paul DePodesta ’95, among many, many others); TV media (James Brown ’73 of FOX Sports’ high-profile NFL studio show); and print media (Daniel G. Habib ’00 of Sports Illustrated, who is also a Crimson editor).

They also occasionally parlay success in the sports world into much bigger things (witness NBC head honcho Jeff Zucker ’86, who is also a Crimson editor, who has won five Emmys since taking a sports researching job with NBC during the 1988 Seoul Olympics).

You may also be surprised to know that the Office of Career Services (OCS) provides resources for similarly interested job-seekers,and not only for those eager participants in OCS recruiting’s rat race.

My roommate Dave is chasing the dream. With laser-like focus on scoring a career in baseball, he drove to sunny Pittsburgh this weekend to explore an opportunity.

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