By Mike DeFabo
Times West Virginian
Fairmont State basketball fans who can’t make it the exhibition with West Virginia University can still Root for the Falcons from home. That’s “Root” with a capital “R.”
The Pittsburgh-based television affiliate will be carrying the exhibition in Morgantown on Nov. 4, Fairmont State basketball coach Jerrod Calhoun announced Wednesday.
“It’s a big deal playing West Virginia,” Calhoun said. “But now with it being on national TV, I think it really gives the university and also our basketball program a lot of publicity.
“For a Division II school to be on TV, it’s quite a big deal. We’re excited about it. It’s going to give us some great exposure.”
Root Sports Pittsburgh is a regional sports network that broadcasts professional sports in Pittsburgh as well as the Big 12, Pac-10 and several more college sports from various conferences and divisions.
The games are broadcasted throughout Pennsylvania, West Virginia, western Maryland, eastern Ohio and eastern Kentucky— many of the same areas where Falcons players come from.
“The nice thing is Root Sports reaches so many areas,” Calhoun said. “If you look at our roster most of the kids are from the West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio area. Root Sports reaches all those areas. They’re really big in those areas.”
Calhoun believes the exposure will help the Falcons continue to re-tool as they fight toward a Division II national championship.
“I’m all for it. My whole thing is exposure for the university and also for recruiting,” Calhoun said. “We’re at the point in our program where we want to keep attracting top talent. If you can tell kids that they’re going to be on TV, that really helps with recruiting and getting kids to come to your university.”
This isn’t the first time the Falcons have been on TV in the recent past. Last season the basketball and football teams were featured a handful of times on the network.
For now, this is the only Falcons game scheduled to be televised on Root Sports, but Calhoun is hopeful that FSU will be featured a couple more times once the team gets into conference play.
“As you build your program more to a national name, I think there will be more opportunities not only for basketball but for football as well with coach (Jason) Woodman and what he is doing.
“The more you win and the more exposure your program has, the better chance you have to be on TV.”
Email Mike DeFabo at email@example.com or follow on Twitter @MikeDeFaboTWV.