As men’s games for the 2021 NCAA® tournament have been underway on Butler University’s campus and throughout Indiana, one Bulldog is spending most of March helping with the other half of this month’s basketball action.

Caroline Crosby, a junior Sports Media major, is working for the NCAA® this semester as an extern in the Division I Women’s Basketball Championships and Alliances Division. Part of her role consists of traveling to San Antonio, Texas, for three weeks to help organize the NCAA® Women’s Basketball tournament.

“I’m a huge women’s basketball fan, so this is just like a dream for me,” Crosby says. “It will be so fun actually being there and being in the moment.”

As the only college student on her team, Crosby is honored and excited for the opportunity to visit San Antonio. Before heading to Texas, she started her experience by helping out remotely, working with the tournament’s host schools to organize catering for the game operations and event operations teams. Due to COVID-19 precautions, all food must be pre-packaged, so Crosby has been tasked with selecting meals to have catered in.

“It’s crazy how much goes into planning a whole tournament, especially while working a thousand miles away during a pandemic,” she says.

Crosby arrived in Texas with her team on March 14 to help get everything set up and organized. She is spending the majority of her time working at the Alamodome and Convention Center while there, assisting her team to ensure things run smoothly. One of her main roles includes escorting teams from their busses to their locker rooms or holding rooms at the Alamodome. Every movement from each team requires an escort, and at times there can be up to six teams in the building, making Crosby’s job require strategic planning. But she has loved the opportunity to interact with players and coaches. She has also been tasked with communicating with teams about practice times and COVID-19 testing times on a daily basis.

While COVID-19 has made planning difficult, Crosby has persevered. She originally interviewed for this internship in spring 2020, but a heavy semester of classes prevented her from taking it then. Crosby followed up over the summer in hopes of interning for the fall, but pandemic restrictions made the position unavailable. She was determined and reached out once more, finally landing her current internship for spring 2021. 

Originally from Davenport, Iowa, Crosby visited Butler’s campus as a junior in high school and instantly knew it was her top choice. She was drawn to the small school in a big city, filled with sports teams—not to mention the NCAA® headquarters. With a goal of joining the sports industry, she knew Indy was the place for her.

Crosby says her Sports Media and Journalism classes have prepared her well for this internship, specifically in regards to communication and writing skills, which she has applied while conversing with colleagues from the different host schools in preparation for the tournament. Communication is difficult while working remotely, miles apart, so Crosby has utilized Microsoft Teams meetings as one way to stay connected. She has also worked for Butler Athletics, doing camera work for women’s volleyball and basketball games. As a woman who has played on the club basketball team here at Butler, and who has grown up as a fan of women’s basketball, Crosby says her current internship is like a dream come true: “It’s been a great experience—a once in a lifetime thing, for sure!”