MTSU Student Team Nabs National Award for TV Sports Coverage

MTSU’s student production team has taken a top national award for their live broadcast coverage of a January men’s basketball matchup inside Murphy Center. 

Members of EMC Productions, all top students in the university’s Department of Electronic Media Communication, won the “Outstanding Live Game and Event Production” collegiate category at the 2014 College Sports Media Awards, which were announced Wednesday in Atlanta. 

“Our students, faculty and staff have poured their hearts into this, and I could not be more proud of this accomplishment,” said Billy Pittard, EMC chair in the College of Mass Communication. 

EMC Productions submitted footage from the Jan. 30 men’s 84-67 win over East Carolina, which aired live on Sinclair Broadcasting’s WUXP Channel 30 in Nashville, in the competition. You can watch the entry in high definition at

MTSU’s College Sports Media Award win came over six challengers: student production teams from Indiana’s Ball State University, Minnesota’s Bethany Lutheran College and St. Cloud State University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania and Virginia’s Liberty University.

“On the faculty side, major congratulations go to Dr. Dennis Oneal, who has done an outstanding job of managing our ‘varsity team,’ EMC Productions,” Pittard said. “Major congratulations and thanks go to our technical team of Marc Parrish and Mike Forbes.

“And congratulations to all of the EMC faculty who have helped build, educate and train this outstanding group of students, with (assistant professor) Bob Gordon at the top of that list.”

MTSU signed a pact in 2013 with Sinclair for EMC students to produce and direct 11 athletic events for live broadcasts on the company’s channels. MTSU crews produce content regularly for national sports channels, including ESPN and Comcast Sports South, and continue building a strong reputation for their work on projects with PBS affiliates. 

EMC students work inside MTSU’s 40-foot, $1.7 million HD mobile production laboratory, also known simply as “The Truck,” to cover sports, concerts and other events for local broadcast, cable stations and national cable networks.

Members of the EMC Productions team compete for positions on the crew to get real-world experience producing live television events, along with material for their portfolios and résumés.

Sponsored by Ross Video and PROMISE Technology and presented by the Sports Video Group and the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics, the College Sports Media Awards celebrate the best in video production at all levels of college sports, from students and university athletic departments to regional and national networks.

Three members of MTSU's EMC Productions student TV production team accept the top national collegiate honor Wednesday for “Outstanding Live Game and Event Production” at the 2014 College Sports Media Awards in Atlanta. From left are senior Chris Robertson of La Vergne, Tennessee, director of EMC Productions; ESPN's Rece Davis, who served as host for the awards event; senior Justin Beasley of Humboldt, Tennessee; and junior Joshua Cragg of Murfreesboro. (Photo courtesy of Mike Forbes)

For more information about the EMC department at MTSU, visit and