Quick Slant: Geist, Jenkins inducted into Student Media HOF

Nov. 2, 2012

Quick Slant is an array of brief insights and occasionally opinionated overviews of collegiate athletics in general and the Vanderbilt Commodores in particular.

Vanderbilt Student Media Hall of Fame Ceremony Inductees include: Willie Geist, MSNBC morning show host and contributor to several NBC programs; Clay Harris, London-based journalist who spent much of his career at the Financial Times; and Lee Jenkins, senior sports writer for Sports Illustrated. (Vanderbilt Photo/Daniel Dubois)  

It was inspiring to watch Willie Geist and Lee Jenkins be inducted into Vanderbilt's Student Media Hall of Fame last week. Both were here in the early 1990's when there was an abundance of gifted student talent covering Commodore athletics. Geist went on to become a national television personality, recently joining NBC's Today Show. Jenkins is a senior writer for Sports Illustrated. When he was a cub reporter for the student newspaper, Lee said he tried to write like he was covering the Super Bowl. Nearly 20 years later when assigned to actually cover the Super Bowl, he referred back to some articles he'd written here and with a nice twist of phrase, realized he was now covering the Super Bowl as if it were Vanderbilt.

Vanderbilt's student body is infamous for traditionally showing up tardy at football games and takes plenty of guff because of it. For years we have sponsored a freshman orientation event in which school songs and traditions are taught and the importance of their spirit is explained. Alas, the peer pressure to drag in late apparently is too much for many. That said, this note: our student section for football represents nearly 50% of all students on campus, a much higher percentage than any state school you care to choose. What other campus activity attracts so many students?

Basketball gets underway this weekend. The men play Friday night, the women Saturday afternoon with times and information found on this site.

We will miss pitching coach Derek Johnson, who made a tremendous contribution and lasting impression during his 11 years mentoring the likes of David Price, Mike Minor, Jeremy Sowers, Sonny Gray and Jensen Lewis to name a few. In all 32 Commodore pitchers drafted by Major League teams during this span. Great programs, however, reload after the loss of talent. Tim Corbin will attract another coaching ace and the Commodores will roll on. We wish Derek and Tasha and their two kids all the best with the Chicago Cubs, where he will be in charge of all minor league pitching. They could not have found a better man for their job.



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