March 02, 2012 12:00AM
On Thursday, when the best basketball teams in the MIAA go head to head in the conference tournament, the people behind the video cameras will once again be Pittsburg State University broadcasting students. Pitt State students have been filming the tournament for a decade and for the past seven years, they have been the ones running the big video board at Municipal Auditorium.
“This is an unbelievable opportunity for students to be able to be in on the planning and coordination of such a large live event,” said Troy Comeau, associate professor in the Communication Department and director of broadcasting. “Everything from the fun facts that are on the screen when people walk in, to the replays and fun crowd interactive stuff like the shell game and dance cam are all being put out there by Pittsburg State broadcast students.”
In the early years of the MIAA tournament, the Pitt State students went up only to cover Pitt State, Comeau said. At that time, the video boards weren’t being used and Comeau offered the PSU video and replays for use on the boards. The MIAA took Comeau up on his offer and each year PSU’s responsibility has grown.
“When we first started this partnership we had about 10-12 students involved with the production,” Comeau said. “This year we have 22 students who will be participating in some form. The MIAA has also requested live reports to be added to their webpage and that will be done by two of our students. One will do reports for the men’s tournament and the other will be reporting on the women’s.”
Comeau said the work is long and at times intense, but it gives students a real taste of live broadcasting.
It really lets the students experience what a live-event production is like,” Comeau said. “Three of the four days of the tournament we work 12-hour shifts. Our program has grown enough that we rotate the students to give them some time off, but in the beginning every student and I would work 12-hour shifts for three days and then work the championships on the final day. It is pretty exhausting and because the championships are on Sunday, we all have to be back at Pittsburg State on Monday morning for classes.”