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Big East move will affect sports broadcast majors

While the main focus of the university’s move to the Big East Conference has been the effects it will have on the athletic programs, other departments on campus are anticipating impacts as well.

Sports Broadcasting Program Director Charles LaMendola said students majoring in sports broadcasting who have gained experience by filming, directing and working production for university athletic events aired on The Mtn. will have to shift gears to accommodate the Big East.

The students who worked closely with The Mtn., a program affiliate responsible for airing many of the Mountain West Conference athletic events, will instead work with the two primary television partners of the Big East, which according the their website are ESPN and CBS Sports.

Sophomore sports broadcasting major Beau Tiongson said he was looking forward to the experience and networking opportunities it will present to the students.

“ESPN is the worldwide leader in sports,” Tiongson said. “As the status of a student, any opportunity that we get to work those games, we’d be more than grateful to have.”

LaMendola, who is also an instructor in the Department of Film, Television and Digital Media, said that some of the Big East games will potentially air on ESPNU, a branch of ESPN that specializes in college sports, and, a live sports broadband network that delivers sports online.

Freshman sports broadcasting major Tyler Von Richter said first and foremost that the network change will create a lot more exposure for the university. But many of the adjustments will depend on the contract between the university and ESPN.

“ESPN will hire professionals more often than not,” Von Richter said. “It will be interesting to see how much they [ESPN] takes over.”

LaMendola agreed that although students will most likely participate in significantly fewer athletic broadcasts as part of the Big East, the learning experience still will be the same.

“It almost doesn’t matter if what we were doing was on TV or not because that’s just a by-product,” LaMendola said. “It’s like what coaches talk about all the time ­8212; it’s the process that matters.”

That process included responsibilities such as creating graphics, operating cameras and directing and producing the content, LaMendola said.

Much of that experience was due to The Mtn. and the hands-on experience it provided for students, he said.

“The Mountain West has been good to us,” LaMendola said. “They have been so helpful to students.”

With the Big East transition not occurring till 2012, Von Richter said he would enjoy the next year gaining experience with The Mtn. in case he got the opportunity to help broadcast games for ESPN in the future.

“That would be a dream come true,” he said. “That’s the goal in life.”

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