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April 24, 2009

 

College scrambles to create Jets internships

SUNY Cortland foresees team’s training camp creating opportunities for students, volunteers

SUNYJoe McIntyre/staff photographer
Sport management student Jenna Boyce uses an athletic training video analysis tool called Dartfish Wednesday at SUNY Cortland’s Studio West computer lab. The software will be used to assess the performance of Jets players during the team’s training camp at the college this summer.

By SCOTT CONROE
Staff Reporter
sconroe@cortlandstandard.net

The New York Jets’ decision to hold preseason camp at SUNY Cortland this summer means internship opportunities for the college’s students need to be created in the next few weeks.
A delegation from the college met with Jets officials Tuesday in New Jersey to discuss what the National Football League team needs help with, as players, coaches and staff will spend three weeks on campus.
Jim Reese, the sport management professor who serves as the college’s chief liaison to the Jets because of his NFL experience, said the college is trying to offer chances for as many academic departments as possible to be involved.
“There seem to be about 50 opportunities for internships and about 200 opportunities overall,” said Reese, referring to not just students but community volunteers who could help with security and parking. “We want to incorporate as many people as we can into this. We are making an organizational chart and seeing how it lines up with the Jets’ organization to see what they need.”
Jets owner Woody Johnson and Gov. David Paterson announced Monday that the team had chosen SUNY Cortland for its preseason camp, where the team forms as veterans and rookies alike prepare for the football season.
The Jets also considered Cornell University and Utica College.
Johnson was especially impressed that the SUNY Cortland sport management department trains its students in the use of Dektronics, Pinnacle Xos and Dartfish digital video technology, which NFL and Major League Baseball have used for years to analyze games.
Internships for academic credit need to be created through the college Registrar’s Office in the next couple of weeks. Internships are typically for three credits.
The Jets and the college have a one-year agreement, but both sides say they hope it will be extended.
“We want the Jets to have the best experience they can with training camp, so they have a long-term relationship with us,” said Reese, who was ticket sales director for the Denver Broncos for several years.
Machell Phelps, executive director of the Cortland Sports Council, and Garry VanGorder, executive director of the Cortland County Chamber of Commerce, have been involved in planning ways to recruit help from the community, Reese said.
“For me, this ties together the NFL experience, which I miss, and another love of mine, working with students,” said Reese, who teaches courses in ticket sales management and other aspects of professional sports.
The Jets will take over the sport management department’s offices and technology labs in Studio West for a month, making use of the department’s Pinnacle Xos and Dartfish software.
The software allows a user to edit, freeze and analyze digital video of players and games. Where a coach used to spend hours analyzing games or players’ mechanics by watching film, putting it on rewind or fast-forward, this technology speeds up the process, said sport management professor Matt Seyfried.
“You can click to moments where a ball leaves a player’s hand, or ask for every third down in a game, or view a play from more than one angle,” Seyfried said. “The software can draw a line that shows a ball’s path. Now a coach is freed up to spend time on the practice field, applying what he or she has seen, instead of spending an entire afternoon watching film.”
SUNY Cortland students have been trained in Pinnacle for several years. The company gave the college a $6.2 million grant in 2002 to install the technology.
Johnson was impressed by a Pinnacle Xos demonstration given by senior Evan Rothstein and Professor Dan DePerno during his visit to the college, Seyfried said.
The college is planning how to adjust freshman orientation and sports camps around the Jets camp’s use of residence halls and athletic facilities. The players will also be doing community events such as fundraisers and autograph sessions.

 

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