SEC and ESPN launch new online network
The University of South Carolina and the 11 other Southeastern Conference institutions have teamed up to launch the SEC Academic Network, a Web site to promote academic endeavors of SEC universities.
The site -- www.secacademicnetwork.com -- has been established by the SEC in partnership with ESPN and the member universities.
Developed using technology and coordination from ESPN Digital Media, the academic network will feature content from every institution on topics ranging from research, innovation and economic development to community partnerships, civic engagement and service.
The University of South Carolina's features emphasize the institution's reach, relevance and impact on the state and world. Among the initial videos are one on Cocky's Reading Express, a student-led literacy effort to encourage young children in public schools to read; successful efforts by the College of Education to recruit teachers to rural areas and improve science achievement in struggling schools; and how alumni in the health sciences are expanding quality, affordable healthcare to those who need it most.
University President Harris Pastides said the Web site is an excellent way to promote the academic side of the university.
"When the new SEC TV agreements were being discussed, we wanted to explore new ways to highlight the excellent academic opportunities found at our universities, in addition to the outstanding athletics programs," Pastides said. "The SEC Academic Network helps realize that goal."
"The commitment to highlight the accomplishments of SEC member institution academic programs was a key component of our new television agreements," said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive. "We are grateful to ESPN bringing the expertise and tools they use in sports media to our institutions in support of academic pursuits.
"This network will provide our 12 institutions with the ability to create and distribute academic and other non- athletic programming throughout the world on a regular and full time basis," said Slive.
On the Web site, each institution has its own page that includes videos categorized by topic. Alumni, fans and students worldwide now have the ability in one place to learn more about SEC academics through video features that are posted by the league institutions. Videos feature outreach, research, economic development, innovation and the student experience.
The SEC Academic Network is a component of the SEC's 15-year television package with ESPN, which is the most comprehensive in the history of intercollegiate athletics. Also part of ESPN's commitment to SEC academic programs: the production of an annual "Campus Connection" telecast at each SEC institution, in which students take part in the production; telecasts of two programs annually dedicated to the academic accomplishments of SEC student-athletes; a weekly academic feature segment on ESPNU's SEC show; and selection of one undergraduate from every SEC institution to participate in ESPN's summer internship program.