Athletic department prepared to handle national media

GVL Archive
Thursdays game against West Texas A&M will be broadcasted nation wide

GVL Archive Thursdays game against West Texas A&M will be broadcasted nation wide

Curtis Kalleward

11For the second consecutive season, however, the Lakers will attempt to tackle a nationally-ranked foe in the regular season. West Texas A&M University will come to Allendale tonight to open the 2010 NCAA football season.

For the first time in the regular season since a 2006 game against Michigan Technological University, a national audience will follow the team’s every move on television. The game will be available live on the CBS College Sports channel and will be shown tape delayed on Friday at noon on Fox Sports Detroit.

The GVSU sports information staff said they are fully equipped for handling the national media.

“We’ve been through the national media spotlight a lot, obviously, with all of the ESPN games and CBS College Sports presentations that we have done previously,” said Tim Nott, GVSU associate athletic director of media relations. “It’s not much of a difference now than any other time because we televise all of our home games anyway (on local cable). It’s a bigger production dealing with the national talent that they are going to bring in, along with a bigger production crew, but we’ve been through it so many times that it’s really not that big of a deal to us.”

Nott added GVSU is one of the more organized colleges in NCAA Division II athletics as most schools would not have the ability to host the increased number of media correspondents.

“It’d be a lot harder for schools, other than Grand Valley, in our league to do this because of where the cameras are going to go and where the media can go,” Nott said. “But for us, this national attention isn’t really that much of a difference (from how home games are normally produced). As far as logistics go, we’ll have the necessary camera decks set up for them when they come here so they know when they come here where they are going to be.”

GVSU Athletic Director Tim Selgo welcomes the national attention the school receives from high-profile games such as the football home opener.

“The name recognition of Grand Valley has increased around the country,” Selgo said. “People now know who you’re referring to when you say Grand Valley State University. (Big games) have certainly had an impact in our Midwest region. The value isn’t so much financially as it is the name recognition that it brings for us.”

The great distance between the two schools keeps the home-field advantage very much intact. Kent Johnson, West Texas A&M’s associate athletic director of media relations, said he does not expect to see too many fans cheering on the Buffaloes at Lubbers Stadium. However, he added that the school did not push the game either.

“We haven’t done any promotions out of the ordinary,” he said. “It’s a big game, and people want to come up and see it, but it’s on national TV, so it defeats the purpose of pushing it too much.”

Despite the distance, Johnson said there will still be a few fans clad in burgundy and white – West Texas’ colors.

“We’ve got 45 people who have paid for a seat on our charter flight, and quite a few folks are driving up in order to make a long Labor Day weekend out of it,” he said.

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