Athletes Learn to Smile For Television Cameras

On any given weekend during the school year, you can turn on the TV and find college sports. Representatives from athletic powers such as Nebraska and Arkansas flaunt their colors on the airwaves, satisfying football-and basketball-happy fans.

But how often do you see Harvard sports on the tube?

Actually, now more than ever before, according to Harvard athletic department officials.

The events televised have included The Game against the Yale football team and an ECAC men's hockey game. Another hockey game will be televised Saturday, and there are plans to show several men's basketball games and one women's hockey game.

While Harvard sports have been televised in the past, Patricia W. Henry, senior associate director of athletics, said that Harvard has received more TV attention this year largely because of changes in the nature of television.


"The television industry is changing because of all the cable opportunities and so forth," Henry said.

Cable television has provided greater opportunity to televise college sports than ever before, and that includes Harvard sports, she said.

Michael A. Jackman, an assistant in the Harvard sports information office, agreed.

"There is more emphasis on college sports today," he said.

In particular, he cited Channel 68; "They want to become the college hockey channel," he said.

Jackman also said he feels that the increased coverage is the product of hard work.

"It's a result of the efforts by the leagues, particularly in hockey by the ECAC," he said. "They have a package with Sports Channel to put eight games on TV with each team [in the ECAC] in at least one game."

Both Jackman and All-American hockey player Steve Martins '95 cited current problems in professional sports as a possible cause for the airing of more college sports.

Martins gave the lockout in the National Hockey League as a possible explanation for the plethora of college hockey games that are currently on TV.

But Jackman went a step further.

"A lot of networks are interested in Ivy League sports," he said. "They regard the Ivy League as pure athletics.... That's very appealing right now."