By Leah McCluskey
Rumors have begun to swirl that the St. Bonaventure production truck, used to film and live stream sports games, is on its last legs.
Paul Wieland, who originally purchased the truck 40 years ago, validated these claims.
“The truck is on its last legs despite all the engineering magic that Joe Paciorkowski can muster,” Wieland said. “It was built 40 years ago and when things break, there is no place to turn to for parts in most cases,” Wieland said. “Any efforts to replace the truck with high-definition equipment have thus far not found funding.”
The loss of the production truck could have consequences for the Jandoli School of Communication. Many undergraduate students have a focus in sports television.
St. Bonaventure University President Dennis DePerro, Ph.D., squashed those concerns.
“The sports TV class is a very integral part of our communications curriculum,” he said. “While we may not have the existing truck much longer, we are currently planning the upgrades necessary for true HD broadcast quality.”
DePerro realizes the issue at hand and is examining possible short and long-term options for the production truck, including temporary upgrades. His goal is to maintain SBU’s broadcasting capabilities and to continue to offer students the best opportunities to learn how to broadcast a live event.
While things seem uncertain, DePerro said, “Losing the ability to live stream basketball games is not an option. We will make sure in the near future that the equipment is upgraded for a better experience.”
Wieland agreed with DePerro’s assessment.
“We were the first school in the country to do just that (live streaming) with a truck used exclusively for an academy course 11 years ago, and I hope the university comes up with the resources to continue the practice,” Wieland said. “Change is inevitable. It is only a question of when.”
St. Bonaventure is putting forth effort to preserve this important part of both the athletics and communications programs.