Athletics headed to the Internet

Matt Lefebvre

As Quinnipiac has grown both academically and athletically, the interest in the University has grown throughout the region. In order to accommodate these new followers of the institution, Quinnipiac has had to increase its media presence throughout New England and the tri-state area. This is why WQAQ, the student-run radio station of Quinnipiac, will begin streaming Bobcat athletic games on the Internet. Now not only will people in the Connecticut area be able to watch and listen to QU games, but now anyone in the world who has Internet access can listen. This has been a culmination of the growth of the Quinnipiac athletic program which made the jump from Division II to Division I no more than four years ago.

The increased media coverage started after the men’s basketball team advanced to the Northeast Conference Championship game during the 2001-02 season. The game, televised nationally on ESPN 2, was the first time any Quinnipiac athletic game had been televised across the country. Although the then- mascotless squad ended up on the losing end, Quinnipiac still came out a winner. It gave the country its first glance at an up and coming college turned university.

After Quinnipiac’s appearance on ‘The Deuce,’ the university decided to make its nickname more politically correct and chose the bobcat as its mascot, retiring the brave as their logo and nickname. It was all part of a plan to market the university to the growing audience which awaited them.

The 2003-04 athletic season has been a great year for Quinnipiac coverage. The men’s basketball team has been on regional television eight times, WCTX (Notre Dame, Wagner and Monmouth), FOX-NE (Central Connecticut State), FOX-NY (Wagner), Cablevision (Robert Morris), NESN (Dartmouth) and WTXX (UConn).

The men’s hockey team appeared team on NESN twice, both on the road against Providence and Michigan.

The women’s basketball team appeared on television twice during their season, at home against Robert Morris (Cablevision) and Monmouth (WCTX).

These games, although seen across Connecticut, did not reach many other people, which is why streaming will be so important to the growth of QU. WQAQ, which has been trying to stream for the last four years, has now been granted permission by the administration to go ahead with its plan. “In each of my four years at Quinnipiac, I have constantly peppered the management staff and the general managers about the issue of streaming,” senior Co-Sports Director Gregory Glynn said. “The best way to achieve something is through perseverance.”

The first live streaming broadcast of a Quinnipiac game came on Jan. 26, a men’s basketball game played at home against Fairleigh Dickenson. The Bobcats lost in overtime 84-81. This game was broadcasted by Glynn and fellow senior WQAQ Sports Director Emilio Sarullo. “Since I became the sports director I have been working with management at WQAQ to present a plan for streaming to be approved,” Sarullo said. “Our hard work and preparation has paid off.”

Streaming athletic games is just the first step for WQAQ. Starting at the end of this semester, the campus radio station will begin to stream its regular music programming. The streaming will take place Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. This will allow WQAQ to have three shows a day, 15 for the week, to be heard on the Internet. “This is a huge step for the station,” Glynn said, “[it] establishes WQAQ as one of the prestigious organizations on campus.”

“The streaming of WQAQ is just another great step for a very strong division I athletic program,” Quinnipiac Athletic Director Jack McDonald said. “I am very greatful to Manny Carera, Scott Barnett and the WQAQ management.”

The efforts of the WQAQ sports department will not go unrecognized by the QU community. The athletes will now be able to have their relatives who do not live in the Hamden area to be able to listen to their games. “This means so much to the sports department, now our athletes can have their parents and friends listen from all over the world,” Glynn said. “We owe a lot to Jack McDonald and his enthusiasm for Quinnipiac athletics and his efforts to help us get on the Internet.”

The process to gain Internet streaming for WQAQ was a long and strenuous one. “We had to create proposals, budget

alteration and constant reworking to meet the streaming requirements,” current WQAQ General Manager Josh Danzig said. Danzig along with fellow junior Eric Marco will be the Sports Directors for the 2004-05 academic year. “I hope to take the sports department to the next level,” Danzig said. “I want to build off what Greg and Emilio and the station have accomplished and achieve even higher goals.”

As of now, every Quinnipiac athletic team will be covered by WQAQ allowing every squad to receive exposure. It has yet to be determined how many games will be broadcasted but according to McDonald it will be as many as possible. The expansion of WQAQ to the Internet will allow the station, along with the university, to gain national and possibly international exposure.