Conference’s First Known Remote Athletics Broadcast Produced Recently by Averett, Covenant College

Posted on January 26th, 2021 by Matt Bell

What started as a joking text message between friends on Saturday, Jan. 16, resulted in broadcasting history for the NCAA Division III USA South Conference.

On that day, Averett University Director of Athletics Communications Drew Wilson and Covenant College Director of Athletic Communications Andrew Mindeman made history with the first known remote men’s basketball game broadcast in the conference.

Averett was set to play in its first game of the season on January 16 against Covenant. Not originally on the schedule, the non-conference game between the two conference foes came about midway through the week and arrangements were made to play against each other at Brevard College in Brevard, N.C. — a halfway point for both schools. A 3 p.m. tipoff was set for the contest and Brevard agreed to handle stats, staffing and broadcasting.

With Brevard handling all aspects of the game, Wilson was planning to follow and Tweet the game at home until an email prompted an unexpected change.

“Saturday morning, I was sitting at home watching television when I received an email that the game would be broadcast without audio due to unforeseen circumstances,” Wilson said.

Meanwhile seven hours south in Lookout Mountain, Ga., Mindeman received the same email.

“I texted Andrew jokingly and said, ‘Hey, do you want to do a remote broadcast?’ Suddenly, the idea became doable,” Wilson said. “We got the email at 11:32 a.m., and with the game set for 3 p.m., we had very little time to prepare.”

After discussing potential setup ideas, Mindeman and Wilson both headed to their respective offices to talk logistics for making the broadcast a reality.

“Andrew and I discussed do we do this on Zoom, do we use Google Meets or another platform? That was the first avenue of questioning we went down, and wound up on Google Meets because that’s what Covenant used,” Wilson said, noting they are close friends, talk often and know each other’s setups fairly well.

After working out some audio kinks, and importing the video feed from Brevard, the broadcast was then streamed to YouTube.

For anyone watching the YouTube stream, they saw the Brevard video broadcast and heard the commentating work of Wilson and Mindeman.

Behind the scenes, Wilson had a computer screen set up with Mindeman on it, an iPad with the Brevard video broadcast and another laptop with live stats.

When Averett had the ball, Wilson had the call, while Mindeman called the game for Covenant when they had possession. They worked together to be each other’s color man.

“It came off as no different than if we were sitting side by side at the game,” Wilson said. “Fans could hear us together. At halftime, both of us were on screen from our respective offices sharing stats and other information.”

Covenant held a commanding lead throughout the game until late in the second half when Averett rallied and took the lead. Covenant ended up winning 77-73 thanks to late free throws.

Wilson said he was grateful for the experience and opportunity to call the basketball game. Usually he is handling the statistics during home games, and Averett’s sports information department typically doesn’t travel to away contests because other programs are likely playing at home when one is on the road.

“Andrew and I are both very committed to our profession and providing the best experience for our student-athletes and fans,” Wilson said. “We knew that if we could add an audio broadcast to the game, it would be a better experience for those watching at home, especially since fans aren’t allowed to attend in person because of the conference’s COVID-19 safety protocols.

“I’m thankful all things fell into place to make this happen. This is what we do in our role. We adapt to what we have, and do what we have to do to overcome challenges.”

Miss the game? Check out the broadcast by clicking here.