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Notre Dame to install remote video system on practice fields

LaBar Practice Fields

The hydraulic scissor lifts that helped film Notre Dame football practices will no longer be used, and the university will install a remote outdoor video system on the LaBar Football Practice Fields. The decision is the result of a safety overhaul after one of the lifts toppled over in severe winds, killing junior videographer Declan Sullivan last October.

“I said in the days after Declan’s death that we would do everything in our power to make changes to ensure that such an accident does not happen again - here or elsewhere,” said Notre Dame president Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C. “This system puts safety at the forefront in a completely new and innovative way.”

The camera system comes from XOS Digital, a company that has already partnered with the Irish helping to infuse technology into the day-to-day process. This time last year, it was the implementation of XOS PlayAction Simulator, a development tool that plays like an EA Sports football video game.

Here’s more from Notre Dame’s official release:

Designed by XOS Digital, the first-of-its-kind outdoor remote video system includes four Panasonic cameras mounted on 50-foot poles – one on the south ends of each of the three LaBar Football Practice Fields, and one on the north end of field No. 1. The cameras will be housed in temperature-controlled units, and a fiber-optic network will transmit video to a control room in the Guglielmino Athletics Complex, where members of the athletics video services department will be able to edit and produce various materials for coaches and players.

Video department personnel will continue to manually operate cameras from the two permanent structures on the sidelines of the practice fields.

“In bringing its tremendous technology expertise to the table, XOS has worked hand in hand with our football program to form a partnership that now provides a new method of obtaining the video materials that our coaches and players utilize,” said Jack Swarbrick, vice president and director of athletics.

XOS Digital is a Florida company that provides audio and visual systems and services for more than 900 professional teams and collegiate programs worldwide. It has installed various systems in several Notre Dame facilities over the past decade and soon will begin work on state-of-the-art audio/visual technology in the new Compton Family Center ice arena.

The new video system is expected to be operational by the time spring practice starts on March 23rd. It’s the first public step in two ongoing investigations, one by Notre Dame and the other by Indiana’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

The University also announced that XOS will make a donation to the Declan Drumm Sullivan Memorial Fund, as Notre Dame officials work with the Sullivan family to decide how best to honor Declan’s memory.