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Sports journalists to discuss state of college athletics

One day before Northwestern University’s 16th-ranked football team takes on No. 4 Ohio State for Homecoming, a panel of sports journalists will gather at Medill to talk about some of the biggest stories relating to collegiate athletics.

“College Sports: What’s Right, What’s Wrong and What the Future Should Look Like,” will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 4, in the McCormick Tribune Center Forum (1870 Campus Drive) on Northwestern University’s Evanston campus. Guest panelists for the discussion will be J.A. Adande (BSJ92), Christine Brennan (BSJ80, MSJ81), LZ Granderson and Steve Weissman (BSJ01). ESPN Producer Willie Weinbaum (BSJ82, MSJ83) will moderate the conversation.

The lecture is free and open to the public, and will also be streamed live online. The discussion can also be followed on Twitter using the hashtag #MedillSports.

That same day, Northwestern Homecoming Grand Marshal Mike Greenberg (BSJ89) and co-host Mike Golic will broadcast a live episode of their ESPN show “Mike & Mike in the Morning” from Deering Meadow on the University’s campus. The show will be broadcast from 5-9 a.m.

About the panelists:

J.A. Adande is a senior writer for ESPN.com and a panelist on ESPN’s “Around the Horn.” He also occasionally serves as guest host of ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption.” After he graduated from Northwestern, Adande spent five years as a sports journalist at the Chicago Sun-Times and The Washington Post. He then spent 10 years as a columnist for the Los Angeles Times, where he covered everything from the NBA and Major League Baseball to the Olympics and the World Cup, before landing in his current position at ESPN. In 2012 Adande served as Northwestern’s Homecoming Grand Marshal.

Christine Brennan is a national sports columnist for USA Today and a commentator for ABC News, CNN, PBS and NPR. She became the first female full-time sports writer at The Miami Herald, where she worked from 1981-1984. She then spent 12 years at The Washington Post. Brennan has covered more than a dozen Olympic Games, starting with the 1984 Los Angeles Games. She is the author of seven books, including “Inside Edge,” which was named one of the top 100 sports books of all time by Sports Illustrated. Brennan is a member of Medill’s Hall of Achievement, and in September was elected to the Northwestern University Board of Trustees.

LZ Granderson is a senior writer and columnist for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com. He also contributes to ESPN’s “SportsCenter,” “Outside the Lines” and “First Take” television shows. In addition to his work for ESPN, Granderson writes a weekly column for CNN.com, appears weekly on CNN Newsroom, has a CNN video blog and podcast and is a frequent guest on a number of CNN shows. His writing often focuses on social issues, and when it comes to his ESPN work, how those issues relate to sports and sports figures. He currently is an adjunct lecturer at Medill, where he is teaching an undergraduate sports journalism course.

Steve Weissman is an anchor and host at ESPN, where he has worked since 2010. He can be seen regularly on "SportsCenter," "Outside the Lines" and "College Football Live." He is also a prominent member of ESPN's Interactive Tennis coverage, performing play-by-play at the U.S. Open and hosting the Australian Open and Wimbledon. Prior to joining ESPN he was the lead anchor for Comcast Sportsnet California. He was the Sports Director of WNUR during his senior year at Northwestern.

Moderator Willie Weinbaum is an award-winning ESPN Enterprise Unit producer of long-form reporting and breaking news coverage, primarily for "Outside the Lines" and "SportsCenter," and an ESPN.com contributor. Before joining ESPN in 1995, he produced features for "This Week In Baseball" and other national programs. A former WNUR sports broadcaster, he was president of the NU Club of Greater New York and an Alumni Service Award recipient, and is now on the board of Northwestern Magazine.

For more information on this lecture, call (847) 467-4130, email m-zarefsky@northwestern.edu, or visit www.medill.northwestern.edu.