published Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

SoCon likes its TV start

There are some areas that need improvement, Southern Conference commissioner John Iamarino said Tuesday, but overall the conference's debut on public television last week was a positive one.

"For the first effort out of the gate, I was very happy," he said.

The SoCon moved to public broadcasting stations, such as WTCI in Chattanooga, this season after four years of showing "SoCon Saturdays" on SportSouth. The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga will be on this Saturday when the No. 23 Mocs visit top-ranked Georgia Southern.

In the debut, with Darren Goldwater and Doug Chapman calling the game, the SoCon got a heavyweight matchup featuring No. 3 Appalachian State at No. 6 Wofford.

"I was at the game, so I set the DVR and I actually watched it last night," Iamarino said. "Generally, I was very pleased."

Among the critiques, he said, was an immediate need to include the down and distance in the graphics, as well as some other graphics tweaks.

There are commercials during the telecast, though less than in a typical game, and not all of them are for the usual stuff such as burgers and cell phones.

"I watched it on a North Carolina channel that I get on my television system," Iamarino said, "and I guess it was a little odd seeing commercials for the play 'Oklahoma' and some ballet things that public broadcasting puts into their spots."

Iamarino said he hadn't received any ratings numbers yet so he doesn't know how last week's game stacked up with those from last season.

One thing missing from the telecast, just like in previous years, was the yellow first-down line that football viewers have come to expect in college and NFL games. Adding the line costs "several thousand dollars a game," Iamarino said.

He said the decision was made "reluctantly" not to include it this season. But he hopes it will be added in future seasons.

Coleman takes it easy

UTC quarterback B.J. Coleman did a lot more watching than moving around during Tuesday's practice. Nursing a sore ankle, which should be fine by Saturday, he got what he said was a welcome easy day on the field.

The senior has absorbed numerous hard hits in recent games and spent a little time Tuesday riding a stationary bike next to his brother, freshman tight end Jarrod Coleman, who is redshirting this season after shoulder surgery. Backup Graham Nichols ran the first-team offense for most of practice.

Fullback Taharin Tyson (ribs) and tight end Faysal Shataat (kidney) wore green no-contact jerseys in practice. Cornerback Chaz Moore (concussion) and wide receiver Tommy Hudson (ankle) did not practice.

about John Frierson...

John Frierson is in his seventh year at the Times Free Press and seventh year covering University of Tennessee at Chattanooga athletics. The bulk of his time is spent covering Mocs football, but he also writes about women’s basketball and the big-picture issues and news involving the athletic department. A native of Athens, Ga., John grew up a few hundred yards from the University of Georgia campus. Instead of becoming a Bulldog he attended Ole ...

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