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Football. Soccer. Volleyball. Golf. Cross-country. The first episode of "UND Sports" featuring college athletics in Grand Forks kicks off Thursday night with a new 30 minute program bringing college athletics at UND to a home audience.

Host of "UND Sports", and Fighting Sioux Club Director, Josh Morton anchors the show with an assist from from UND student anchor, Danny Luetzen, and Lacey Erickson.

According to Sean Johnson, Senior Associate Athletics Director, "UND Sports" will be a valuable career-building experience for students. "For the Athletics Department, one of the things we really like about this show is the partnership with students here at UND--getting students on camera, having them involved in production, in front of the camera, behind the camera--we think its a great experience that we're able to provide through our product."

"UND Sports" is designed to expose viewers to more than an occasional game, or highlight reel. "It's a different kind of a show," says Johnson. "It's feature-based and we like that. It gives a behind-the-scenes-look at some of our student athletes--something beyond the box score. We're looking forward to the stories that are yet to be told. We have 450 great, interesting, fascinating student athletes here in our department and we're looking forward to the show telling the stories of those students."

The benefit of the increased exposure for UND Athletics also pays dividends for the University. "Any time you get publicity for the Athletics Department it's good for us in terms of exposure and student recruitment, and it's good for the university. We're out there promoting the university with this show and television is the number one way to get your message across to potential students, not just potential athletes."

"UND Sports" is the result of a partnership with UND Athletics and the UND Marketing Group, led by UND's Director of eMarketing and Communications, Tim DeBolt. "We're just getting started with the show. But it's a solid first effort, and I'm very proud of the small talented team that put this show together. Working with Sean Johnson's team, we hope this show will be something the region will enjoy."

"UND Sports" is planned to run to a regional audience. The weekly show airs Thursday night at 6:30 p.m., on digital cable Channel 323. According to DeBolt, the new "UND Sports" program is a "logical next step" for a D1 University. "Sports programs are great avenues to introduce people, and get them involved in a university. The University of North Dakota is an exceptional place that has a lot to offer. This show is one way that we will be able to showcase some of that." says DeBolt.

Craig Garaas-Johnson News & Features Editor

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