December 06, 2007

Students to assist with ESPN telecast of game

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. — The Southern Illinois University Carbondale Salukis won't be the only ones showing their prowess Saturday afternoon when they face Delaware in an NCAA Division semifinal football game at McAndrew Stadium.

Twenty students in the radio-television program will provide key assistance in helping bring the sights and sounds of the game to a national audience.

The experience is invaluable for students, said Mark J. Wetstein, a television production coordinator with the SIU Broadcasting Service.

"It is tremendously valuable," he said. "They will be able to get hands-on understanding of the scope of a large-scale sports production. I think it's just as important to them as to the football team."

On Friday, five students will assist in the pre-game setup — helping build the cameras and getting wires set up in the stadium.

Prior to, and during Saturday's game, students will work alongside hand-held camera operators, assisting with cables and moving the dolly that moves a camera along the sideline. In addition, students will also operate the parabolic microphones — the dome-sized units that allow television audiences to hear a quarterback's signals and every bone-jarring hit.

This production is vastly different than previous nationally or regionally televised Saluki games, Wetstein said. The broadcast is in high definition.

"The scale of this is much larger than what would normally happen because it is on the (ESPN) flagship," he said. "This is the first time we have had ESPN here for football."

The Department of Radio-Television is within the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts.