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Aggie and Lady Aggie Sports
Scott Puryear, Sports Information Director
Oklahoma Panhandle State University
P.O. Box 430, Goodwell, OK 73939
580-349-1340 scottp@opsu.edu

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The statisticians are among the thirty people that it takes to manage the support functions at an Oklahoma Panhandle State basketball game. Pictured above (from left) are OPSU students Austin Elliot, David Pierson and Josh Ward who maintain the stats. Photo courtesy Aggie Sports

**For Immediate Release**
Behind the Scenes at OPSU Basketball Games
by Aggie Sports on 12/29/05

Goodwell, OK - It takes many hard working people to manage a basketball game at Oklahoma Panhandle State University. While nearly all fans are focused on the players during game action or on the cheer team routines during breaks in the game, many others are getting the job done in capacities not quite as visible.

Nikki Cothran, OPSU softball coach, has charge of the ticket booth, the sale and distribution of game programs, concession stands and working with security.

No matter if the game is fast and furious or in a timeout, the action at “THE TABLE” is usually perpetual motion. At courtside is the very important scorer’s table – the control room, so to speak. It is there where one can find the official scorer, the clock operators, the announcer, the statisticians, the music coordinator, and members of media.

Guymon businessman and OPSU men’s golf coach Roger McKinnon has served as the official scorer for several years. The official scorer is just that – an official – and McKinnon works closely with the striped shirts on the court to make sure that points, fouls, and time-outs are correct as well as that substitutions are handled properly.

Cla Hammers, an OPSU maintenance employee during the day, normally handles the scoreboard and Courtney Harris, an OPSU student, usually handles the shot clock. The clock operators must stay on their toes through the entire game and watch the action and the signals from the on-floor officials very closely.

Dr. Wayne Stewart, OPSU’s Dean of Education, normally handles the announcing and keeps fans involved and informed on the different things that are happening in the game as well as several announcements that may be necessary. When Stewart is not handling the announcer’s duties, Dr. Wayne Manning, OPSU’s Vice President of Outreach and Academic Affairs usually is.

OPSU student Tyler Puryear takes care of the recorded music and works closely with Cheer Team coach Amber Hollis, as well as cheer co-captains Kenzie Talcott and Mallory Turlington to assure that the music (piped through the public address system) is correct as far as pre-game and halftime along with accompanying the Cheer Team routines. Puryear and Hollis also coordinate closely with the school’s band director, Jason Berg.

Two spotters and a computer coordinator work at a rapid pace to make sure that “play-by-play” statistics are kept accurately and distributed to coaches and the media eight to ten times during each game. OPSU students Austin Elliot and Josh Ward are the spotters and work non-stop as they feed information to another student, David Pierson, who enters all the data into the courtside computer.

Scott Puryear, Sports Information Director and Business Teacher, is the “Pit Boss” and may be seen performing any of the jobs on the table and/or working with the press or the radio broadcasters.

Preparations for Aggie and Lady Aggie basketball games normally get started several hours before the event begins. There are programs to prepare and print, concessions to make ready and the testing of all equipment. Shortly before the opening tip, an OPSU student, faculty member or the band (under Berg’s direction) performs the “Star Spangled Banner” and then fans hear Stewart or Manning introduce the starting line-ups for both teams.

After the game’s conclusion (and sometimes there is both a women’s AND men’s game, one right after the other), the work is still far from done. The table crew breaks down all the equipment, and there are faxes to send to media outlets, e-mails to be sent to other schools and the Heartland Conference, and game stories to write. In addition, all spectator areas must be cleaned after the game and that duty is normally performed by members of the OPSU baseball team, supervised by their coach Jason Kueffler.

On two-game days, which occur mostly during Conference play, the process of managing the event may take as long as eight hours. Not including players and coaches, band and cheer team members, it usually takes about thirty people to get the job done on Oklahoma Panhandle State basketball game day.

It’s worth it, because fans attending Aggie and Lady Aggie games usually have a very good time.

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All Rights Reserved. Copyright Oklahoma Panhandle State University 2005
Developed by: Michal Stachowski
Oklahoma Panhandle State University
P.O. Box 430 Goodwell, OK 73939, tel: 580-349-2611
Toll free 800-664-OPSU, email opsu@opsu.edu