Sports

CSI Athletics Department Takes Dive Into Digital Media

Dolphins Games Highlights, Interviews, and Insider Coverage to Stream on Web

By Mike Papandrea

For years, CSI athletes have had to rely on print records of their achievements to archive their best moments of the season. Now, players and fans alike will have access to go back and watch highlights of games straight from their computer.

The CSI Athletics Youtube page has been updated weekly with interviews featuring coaches and players, highlights of games, and weekly recaps. Former student athlete, Jessica Pifalo, had the idea to incorporate more video across all sports. Pifalo is one of two people who film, edit, and ask postgame questions.

“The videos are exciting because it serves not only the athletes,” says Pifalo, “but the college community, the athletic department, and fans of athletics, which is what is so great about this. It gives the chance to showcase the week’s games and athletes and it’s just another way to get people more involved with athletics.”

Getting people involved has been no easy task. For Division I sports, getting tens and thousands of people to show up to games is no problem. The top 50 schools for Men’s basketball easily average over 10,000 fans per game, according to fs.ncaa.org. Obviously, Division III sports don’t draw such crowds, but they don’t intend to either.

According to www.ncaa.org, “Division III athletics departments place special importance on the impact of athletics on the participants rather than on the spectators.”

“I think being Division III it seems small compared to Division I and II,” says Pifalo. “But it still is just as important and any chance to put athletics on the map is great and now with the power of video it allows CSI Athletics to do just that.”

David Pizzuto is the other person behind the scenes when it comes to filming video and asking postgame questions. Pizzuto is the Sports Information Director and he thinks that, while this is a step in the right direction for CSI athletics, there is still room for improvement.

Aside from video, the CSI Dolphins website has offered live streaming audio of games. Coaches have actually used live streaming audio as a recruitment tool by telling parents that they can listen to their son or daughter play if they are in another city, country, or if they simply can’t make it to the game.

Pizzuto acknowledges that there had been problems surrounding the audio. If you were trying to stream games with an Apple product, you likely were not able to due to a problem with the service provider. Piszzuto says that problem has been cleared, but there are still improvements  that can be made with digital media.

“We just wanna get better at it,” says Pizzuto. “Right now we feel like we are literally on the ground floor. So everything that we’re doing we’re kind of learning from and we’re trying to build off of. So I think that you’ll see that next year we’ll bring it up a notch and the next year we’re just gonna bring it up more notches.”

Capturing games in full to be shown on the website or to a local TV station seems like a stretch, unless it’s a big playoff game. The men’s basketball team was aired on one of ESPN’s secondary channels during the ECAC finals match. Games of that caliber are rare, but there are other media outlets that can be improved upon.

“We’re doing a weekly radio show now and we’re incorporating video with it but we’d like to see more things like that. Coaches shows, more stuff that is not so much centered on game events but more information type calling shows. Our goal is to bring the student athlete and coaches into people’s living rooms and get people excited about CSI athletics,” said Pizzuto.

With the recent success of a handful of sports teams, excitement has grown in CSI athletics. Pizzuto says the traffic the website is getting has far exceeded the expectations and fan participation, whether it be in person or online, has seen an increase.

“I feel like fan participation has grown tremendously, as an athlete and now as a spectator/sports information staffer, I have seen it progress and it definitely has gone up. Game participation and fan busses has become more popular and the highlight video I feel helps those fans become excited for the games and if they can’t make it to the game, they can see what they missed and get glimpses of great plays and moments.”

 

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