Indiana University of Penn. trains next generation of sports pros

By Andrew Lippe

In the sports television spectrum the search for new blood is a never ending process. SVG, since its inception, has organized numerous training events where students have been given a behind the scenes look at what it is like to work in sports television production. At the Indiana University of Pennsylvania students are not only getting a flavor for sports television production but they are actually producing and broadcasting the games.

Under the guidance of David Lind, the operations manager for WIUP-TV and executive producer for IUP Sports, the students run and operate their own broadcast television station. The broadcast network airs in 73,000 households and broadcasts IUP Crimson Hawks basketball and football games. As a part of the TV network, students produce the games, operate the cameras, instill the graphics, and encounter all the technological hurdles of producing sports television.

Each of Lind’s students goes through an on-going training process throughout the year. Students are assigned equipment for the basketball season and are trained to become proficient on them. During the football season those who are the best with the equipment are paid to work during the football season.

The production truck is built out of a 1983 GMC truck. “Our technician Chris Barber installed all the technology in the production truck from scratch,” says Lind. The truck includes a power generator, air conditioners, Sony PVM monitors, tape deck monitors, and a Soundcraft audio board with an available of up to 18 inputs. For games on the road a satellite uplink truck is present. The games are broadcast currently still in SD.

While a game is played Lind is with the game announcers and watches the production all unfold on TV monitors. The director of every game is a student and he operates inside the production truck. “New directors like to hold on to certain shots too long. I teach to keep the flow,” adds Lind.

Crimson Hawks basketball games use only two camera positions and football games utilize five cameras. For basketball games they broadcast using two JVC GY-DV5100L17 cameras and for football games they broadcast using the two JVCs and three Panasonic AG-DVX100B cameras.

The football season operates just like a professional broadcast. The stadium is equipped with a Panasonic sideline camera and an endzone camera. The students are asked to commit every Saturday to football. “Perfection is demanded and by the third game they have hit their stride,” says Lind.

Students have noticed the similarities between the production gear they are operating on and those in field. CSTV did a live game two years ago and a student noticed that the Sony DSR slo mo in their truck was the same one in IUP’s truck.

The biggest hurdle for the students has been setting up on game day.
“Students do all the set up and tear down of camera and cabling,” adds Lind.

Due to a tight school budget their TV production has no wireless cameras, and the students must install 500 yards of coaxial cable before game time. The school is building a new multipurpose arena that should be built by 2011 with the idea some of these difficulties can be altered. Despite these difficulties the students are receiving an incredible learning experience. “Sports production is a growing field, and we want to show that sports production is a good field to get into,” says Lind.