"Media days" used to be a big thing in college football; reporters would fly in to town on a pre-determined day before the season and interview coaches and players. In some of the lower-echelon conferences, schools would gather in a central place to make it easier for reporters.
Then came financial disaster, and papers and local TV stations aren't signing off on travel budgets like they used to. So a lot of conferences are trying to come up with different ways to have their events.
Conference USA, the home of UH and Rice, went the videoconference route. Schools made their coaches and a player available on a conference call, and a closed-circuit video feed went out to media members.
What could go wrong? Plenty, if the Twitter feed of ESPN reporter Graham Watson is to be believed.
-- I'm on C-USA's videoconference and I have one word: FAIL!
-- The video won't work and there's so much static on the phone line that you can barely hear the coaches.
-- One of the media members, maybe not know his line was open, just said, "This isn't going very well."
-- Best part of C-USA media day -- open mics. Yep, we can all hear what you're saying about Michael Vick.
-- @danmennella ECU was first and there was so much static that we couldn't hear what Holtz was saying. I'm trying to get him on the phone.
-- I think the worst part might be the fact that the "moderator" keeps coming on and talking while the coaches are talking so we can't hear.
-- Again, best part is the open mic -- A reporter just said, "If they offered a transcript I wouldn't even be on this thing." Awesome.
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-- AP guy was just alerted that his line was open and he goes, "Oh, so you can hear me?" Awkward...
(Then Watson gets called away to report on the University of Hawaii coach Greg McMackin saying, during his conference's media day, that Notre Dame players had done "a faggot dance" at a Hawaii Bowl banquet last season.) She comes back in time to note:
-- I want to apologize to Rice for missing its turn on the conference call. McMackin kinda trumped everything else. Heard Rice got no ?s. Sorry
Other than that, it went great.