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This weekend ESPNU will be in town to cover the Volunteers’ game against Western Carolina, but the game is not the only undertaking the sports station will be involved with while on Rocky Top.

Sixteen journalism and electronic media students will be assisting with the production of Saturday’s game, courtesy of ESPNU’s Campus Connection, a program designed to give ESPNU viewers the latest student-generated news from college campuses around the country. The program will allow students to work alongside the ESPNU staff to cover every position necessary for the timely broadcast of the game.

While ESPNU has previously covered other Volunteer sports, such as baseball, softball, and volleyball, this will be the first football telecast in which they will be using students in a variety of roles. Students will be shadowing and collaborating with professionals in order to wholly understand all aspects of a university football broadcast.

Students will be collaborating with a camera operator and interviewing other students about their experiences with ESPNU to produce a package that will air on the SEC’s website, working with photographers and videographers, shadowing the game producer, and helping with other production elements of the game broadcast.

“This opportunity provided by ESPNU will expose students to a real-life situation unlike one that any classroom could prepare them for,” said Sam Swan, professor of journalism and electronic media. “It’s a perfect example of experience learning—taking the skills they’ve been honing in the classroom and putting them into use to help produce a major network game broadcast.”

Students working with Campus Connection will be involved in obtaining footage on campus Friday during the day in addition to the activities involved in game day operations on Saturday.

“This level of experience is not something you can get in a classroom,” said journalism student Katherine Donnelly. “We get to shadow and learn from the best in the business and gain real-life experience that will benefit us in this field. As a UT journalism student, I’m honored by the opportunity.”



Amy Blakely (865-974-5037,

Sam Swan (865-974-5123,