Notre Dame to install remote video system on football practice fields

by Dennis Brown

LaBar Football Practice Field

Construction will begin March 8 on a remote video system for the Notre Dame football practice fields that will eliminate the need for elevated scissor lifts such as the one that fell Oct. 27, taking the life of Notre Dame junior Declan Sullivan.

“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 Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s president. “This system puts safety at the forefront in a completely new and innovative way.”

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 poles were manufactured by StressCrete, the oldest manufacturer of spun concrete poles in North America, with locations in Ohio, Alabama, Kansas and Ontario, Canada.

The system is expected to be fully operational when the football team begins spring practice March 23.
In addition to designing an innovative new system, XOS will make a donation to the Declan Drumm Sullivan Memorial Fund.

“We appreciate this wonderful contribution by XOS to the Sullivan family’s memorial fund,” Swarbrick said. “Our staff remembers Declan fondly, and our prayers remain with his family and friends.”

Notre Dame officials are in discussion with the Sullivan family to determine how the University can best honor Declan’s legacy.

“We are committed to memorializing Delcan’s zest for life and presence at Notre Dame in a meaningful and lasting way,” Father Jenkins said. “Our conversations with his family members will shape Notre Dame’s memorials of Declan in a manner that give authentic and proper tribute to their son and brother.”

Two investigations into the accident – one by Notre Dame and another by the Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration – are ongoing.