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7 September 2007
JSU's JumboTron to Take Game Day to a New Level

Fans of Jacksonville State University Gamecock football will see dramatic changes when they attend the Gamecock's first home football game at Paul Snow Stadium on Saturday. The crowd will be drawn to the incredible, high resolution, crystal clear, live video and replays on the new digital “big” screen monitor—a 12’ X 22’ ProStar® VideoPlus Display—which is part of a new free standing scoreboard installed on the east side of the field. 


Many fans refer to this big screen as a JumboTron although the name is a registered trademark owned by the Sony Corporation. 

According to Mike Hathcock, Director of TV Services , “JumboTron is not, therefore, the technically correct description for our new system, although many people use JumboTron as a generic term for all big screens in much the same way ‘Coke’ is a generic term for soft drinks.”


The big screen is capable of showing live video, instant replays, animation, graphics and other information using full color LED technology and is the largest in the Ohio Valley Conference.  The video replay system utilizes the V-Link 4000 Video Precessor and the Venus 7000 Controller.  


In addition to the new scoreboard and big screen at the east endzone, another scoreboard was installed on the Gamecock Field House making JSU the only school in the OVC whose stadium has two scoreboards.  The scoreboards now span 8’ by 48’ with LED Team Name Message Centers.  The new boards feature a state of the art control booth, located under the east endzone, and have the capability to showcase game information, statistics, amazing colorful animation and spectacular video images.  This will take the Gamecock game experience to a new and higher level for our fans.


Included in the new scoreboard and signage package are two electronic message boards—one at Pete Mathews Coliseum and the other at the Montgomery Building.  All of this new equipment is built by Daktronics of Brookings, S.D.  Daktronics is one of the world’s largest suppliers of large screen video displays and control systems, computer-programmable displays, and electronic scoreboards.  The company excels in the control of large display systems.


The whole package was installed at a cost of just over $800,000.  The JSU Board of Trustees authorized the University to purchase this new scoreboard/signage package with funding from advertising sales and private gifts sponsoring the project.  The new scoreboards will provide opportunities for advertising and internships.


The “big screen—JumboTron—made its debut at Jacksonville State University during Spring 2007 commencement and was enjoyed by more than 10,000 guests at graduation.  Hathcock says it was the administration’s decision to broadcast graduation on the big screen this past semester.  “TV Services has been broadcasting the ceremonies live on TV24 and on the internet for several years”; says Hathcock, “therefore, it was feasible to use the same video feed from the TV Production truck for the new big screen.” 


The immediate priority became to have the JumboTron installed and ready for the Spring 2007 commencement.  Hathcock describes the situation leading up to this event:


“It wasn't difficult to put video on the screen.  The hard part was getting the screen installed and operational by the date for graduation.  Many people from JSU, including the Physical Plant and TV Services, along with outside contractors and personnel from Daktronics, worked long hours in order to have the screen operational for graduation.  We had to pull video and audio cables into underground conduits to a new control room underneath the scoreboard and install temporary connectors on the cables, working around electricians and technicians trying to meet the deadline.  In fact some of the equipment including air conditioning to the room was installed the day of graduation.”

Engineers were making last minute adjustments to the video screen as graduation got underway.  There were no major problems with the ceremony.  Some participants on the field reported the screen was hard to see at the beginning of the ceremonies because full sunshine was hitting the screen.  That problem went away as the sun was setting.  Viewers in the stands didn't report any problems seeing the video.”


Overall, the feedback was very positive.  Everyone seemed to enjoy seeing the faces of the graduates as they received their diplomas from President Meehan.”


Head Football Coach Jack Crowe knows the benefits will be long term for the University. 


“The addition of the new scoreboards to Paul Snow Stadium will be a tremendous asset to Jacksonville State University,” said Crowe,  who begins his eighth season as head coach in 2007. “It will benefit us in a variety of ways, including student recruiting to fund raising to enhancing our Game Day atmosphere for our fans, alumni and students.  We're very excited and look forward to seeing it in action this fall.


The scoring and display is something that Jacksonville State student athletes and fans will truly appreciate.  The new scoreboards and video screen, comparable to most major college athletic programs in the country, will provide for even greater excitement and entertainment at JSU home games.  The home opener on September 8th against the University of Tennessee--Chattanooga features two outstanding football programs, and it promises to be one of the best opening games ever at Paul Snow Stadium—having the new JumboTron and scoreboards up and running will add to the “Game Day” excitement.


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