For Love Of The Game
Midway through my interview with Ian Scheuring, he tells me a story that goes like this: After turning in his very first assignment for a course on Shakespeare he was taking in college, Scheuring was accused of plagiarism. Scribbled over two pages were comments from his professor that included, “This is plagiarism. I am bound to say it’s too good — the style, ideas and approach are well beyond the writing skills of a student at this level.”
Scheuring was dumbfounded. How could a professor — one with whom he had never even held a conversation — know how well he could write after just one paper?
The English major quickly fought back, unearthing essays that displayed a knack and talent for prose. It was enough to convince the accusing professor that he had been wrong and Scheuring eventually received a written apology, but the experience was a bit scarring.
“I believe then, and I believe to this day, that he discriminated against me because I look like an athlete,” says Scheuring.
To be fair, the assumption is not entirely off base. Scheuring is a tall and sturdy 6-foot-7, and says he was about 270 pounds at the time. He even was an athlete, participating in football, paddling and track at Radford High School, where he graduated from in 2006. Scheuring continued his football career at Arizona State University for one year before realizing that as much as he loved the sport, he no longer enjoyed playing it. Immediately after returning to Hawaii, Scheuring joined the coaching staff at his alma mater in Halawa — something he had been doing anyway during spring and summer vacations.
So you can see how it might be easy to pigeonhole Scheuring, which is exactly why he detested the accusation so much.
“Since that happened, I was sensitive about people stereotyping me into only having the intellectual depth to discuss athletics, and that didn’t sit well with me,” he says.
Still, there’s no denying Scheuring has an aptitude for it — something that has begun to define his career. For a little more than a year now, Scheuring has anchored and reported for the Hawaii News Now sports desk. He also has a hand in the station’s The Nick Rolovich Show, which highlights the UH Manoa football team weekly.
Athletics, you might say, is just what he was destined for.
Scheuring had no plans to work in TV. His passion was in English and writing, and he had long envisioned for himself a career as a columnist. In fact, the anecdote Scheuring shared was a roundabout explanation of why, in pursuing that, he was strongly against writing about sports.
“I wanted to develop a reputation that I was more than that,” he says.
But the universe had other plans. After two failed attempts at getting an internship at a local paper, Scheuring turned to teaching at Radford High.
As luck would have it, an internship at Hawaii News Now became available. Scheuring took it — a position that went unpaid for six months while he continued to teach and coach — and one thing led to another. A full-time gig eventually opened up, and Scheuring began working in the digital department, before moving to Sunrise as a producer and on-air social media reporter.
Then, a spot in the sports department opened up.
“When he covers a story, he doesn’t just take what’s printed out on a press release,” says Sunrise anchor Steve Uyehara. “He makes sure he fully understands the story before he goes on air, and a lot of times, he brings his own insight to a story.
“He’s also curious about everything, not just sports,” Uyehara adds.
But it is sports that anchor Scheuring. He speaks of it passionately and eloquently, and with a glint of fire in his eyes. In many ways, his role at Hawaii News Now is kismet, no matter how skeptical Scheuring is of dressing up for TV.
“I hate it,” he says, putting on a suit and tie for Metro‘s photo shoot.
Since training camp for the UH football team began, Scheuring has spent much of his time on the field. Just last week, he traveled with the team to Australia, where UH played its season opener against the California Golden Bears.
It’s that part of the job that Scheuring is enjoying every moment of.
“I love that atmosphere,” he says. “I love, you know, the sound of the whistle and the yelling and the shouting and aggression and the hitting. That, even now, is where I feel at home.”
But to really understand Scheuring is to know that there are few things in life he loves more than sports, football in particular. He tells me as much on more than one occasion.
It isn’t just that he enjoyed playing it or that he likes to watch it, but that he firmly believes playing football — especially as a student at Radford High — largely influenced who he is today.
“I feel so strongly about the person I am today and the character traits that I value in myself,” says Scheuring. “I feel like I have those character traits because I played sports growing up. To be able to convey that sense to other people through reporting on sports, and to tell stories that reflect the life lessons that people learn by participating in athletics is a special opportunity for me.”
LET THE GAMES BEGIN
There is one other thing you should know about Scheuring: He is a major Game of Thrones fan. You know, the kind of fan who spends hours contributing to fan theories on Reddit or the kind of fan who correctly predicts what happens next. Every year, before the new season comes out, Scheuring rewatches the entire series, from season one, episode one.
Yeah, that kind of fan. “I am one of the few people in this world who does not watch it, so I roll my eyes every time he goes on a rant,” says Uyehara.
‘The Nick Rolovich Show’
This season for UH football has been particularly thrilling for Ian Scheuring. He’s gotten to spend a lot of time with the team, and also is working on The Nick Rolovich Show, which airs weekly on KGMB and KHNL.
Each episode features everything from players and behind-the-scenes glimpses to game highlights, conversations with Rolovich himself and much more. Ultimately, Scheuring hopes that each 30-minute segment helps endear the team to UH fans. Now more than ever, he points out, it’s important the community supports the Rainbow Warriors.
Plus,as a fan of the game, he remembers watching Rolovich and other key staff as players on the field. It was because of them that Scheuring wanted to pursue college athletics.
“The opportunity to now work with these guys who I idolized as (a kid) is really special for me,” says Scheuring. “I feel like as a journalist, my job is to be impartial when it comes to news surrounding the football team but you know, I don’t think this job would be fun if I ignored the fact that I grew up a UH football fan and that I’m a graduate of UH Manoa.”
Catch The Nick Rolovich Show at 10:30 p.m. Sundays on KGMB and at 6:30 p.m. Mondays on KHNL. For more information, visit facebook.com/rolovich-show or hawaiinewsnow.com.