July 23, 2011
By Matt Winkeljohn
– Nicki Meyer went behind enemy lines earlier this week, following a path previously traveled by her father, to the SEC football meetings. Whether it qualifies as irony or coincidence, the Georgia Tech junior volleyball player followed in dad’s footsteps in a couple ways.
Urban Meyer, who was the head football coach at Bowling Green several years ago, and his daughter are simultaneously blazing the trail of sports broadcasting. He’s newly minted at ESPN, and she’s preparing for an internship at FS South. That’s why she was shadowing Fox Sports/Scout.com newcomer Rachel Baribeau for a day or so at the SEC meetings in Hoover, Ala.
“I’m a management major, and this whole sportscasting thing has always been a dream of mine,” Nicki said. “It never seemed like it could be real. I’m hoping this internship with Fox will compensate for all the things that I’ll miss by not being in journalism.”
Nicki said her father did not help her land the Fox internship, but her dad – who also was head coach at Utah and Florida – has helped her try her hand in the biz.
“He’s still learning. [A Fox supervisor] asked me to write a sample story, and I wrote one on my dad. I was asking my dad questions,” she said. “I said, `Tell me what questions are OK, and what questions I should stay away from.’ He’s been on the other side of the interview. I don’t want to push any buttons, and you have to draw a line, and I didn’t know where that was.”
Meyer played in 25 matches last season, up from four as a freshman, and she’s likely to see quite a bit of playing time this fall as a libero/defensive specialist.
Volleyball still ranks well above broadcasting on her priority list.
She stayed only one night and one day at the multi-day SEC meetings. “I had to come back because I had workouts, and I could only talk my coaches into one day,” she said. “Tuesday morning, [Baribeau] showed me how she prepared. I didn’t personally interview anybody.
“Right now, I’m kind of training. Internship doesn’t officially begin until fall. This can be a good thing. You’re so busy with school, and you don’t have anything under your belt as far as experience.”
The SEC experience was a plus, and even before the internship officially begins Meyer’s time with Fox has boosted her confidence.
“I’m just practicing, and reading and really trying to submerge myself in the sports world and learn everything I can about recruiting, everything that is going on in the world of athletics,” she said. “Rachel helped me do a bunch of practice interviews, she’s telling me how to talk, what to wear. Without her I’d be totally lost.”
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