A Glimpse into Signing Day
Texas Tech provided unprecedented coverage of Signing Day on Wednesday.
February 1, 2012
by Britton Drown
Sonny Cumbie had been here before. For five seasons the former Red Raider quarterback and current assistant coach, spent Saturdays as an analyst for the Texas Tech Sports Network calling football games from high up in the broadcast booth at Jones AT&T Stadium.
Early on Wednesday morning, Cumbie made a brief return to broadcasting, only this time in television.
As the opening guest on the first-ever live signing day webcast, Cumbie was excited about the unique opportunity for fans to gain an insight into the fast-paced atmosphere that signing day provides.
"It was fun," Cumbie said with a laugh shortly after the first segment of the show. "It was just like being back in radio."
For more than four hours, the Texas Tech Athletics Department provided a live streaming webcast Wednesday morning from inside the Football Training Facility as recruits faxed National Letters of Intent. The program was geared towards allowing Texas Tech fans a unique glimpse into the lives of coaches as they wait anxiously for recruits to send official documentation of their intent to join their programs.
"Hopefully it gives them a little bit of an insight into all of the work and all the time and effort that goes into recruiting these kids," Cumbie said "Because it's a year-round, 24-hour a day process."
The show allowed fans to unprecedented insight into the flurry of activity during signing day. Hosted by the tandem of Robert Giovanetti and John Harris, the show also included a live camera stationed inside the `War Room' where faxes from recruits were received and processed throughout the day.
Inside the room, reporter Courtney Davis provided frequent updates in real-time as those faxes arrived.
It was coverage that head football coach Tommy Tuberville said served the fans in a special way.
"I think it's good for the fans," Tuberville said. "They got to kind of be a part of everything and understand what really goes on."
The all-access coverage of signing day provided those viewing a glimpse into the lives of coaches as they watched their year-long recruiting efforts culminate with the simple process of receiving a fax. But Tuberville added that while those watching the show may gain a better understanding of the recruiting process on its final day, it doesn't begin to show the amount of effort that invested into the entirety of recruiting student-athletes.
"The average fan doesn't understand the time that is put into this," Tuberville said.
Throughout the day special guests including Director of Athletics Kirby Hocutt, Head Women's Basketball Coach Kristy Curry along with Head Soccer Coach Tom Stone and Head Track and Field Coach Wes Kittley made appearances on the show.
In a special segment before his signing class was formally announced, Tuberville also appeared on the show to discuss the delicate intricacies of the recruiting and signing process.
"I think it give the fans a great behind the scenes look and gives them an idea of the world of recruiting and what goes on," Tuberville said.
Tuberville and the football program signed 17 student athletes Wednesday to bring the total 2012 class to 26 members after signing nine junior college players in January.
For Tuberville and his staff Wednesday marked end of yet another recruiting year, and another stride forward into next season.
"We made a lot of progress today," Tuberville said.