Four spring games are set to air across ESPN networks on Saturday, April 22, including three on SEC Network. That triple-header on the league's dedicated channel will begin at 2 p.m. ET with an immersive experience into SEC officiating at Georgia's G-Day.
ESPN is surrounding Georgia's Red & Black game with six additional television commentators, as well as an ESPN.com writer, to shadow and participate as referees throughout the day and on the field for the game. Kevin Carter, Chris Doering, Brock Huard, Barrett Jones, Greg McElroy, Maria Taylor and ESPN.com's Ed Aschoff, will take fans inside prep meetings early that morning, referee positioning and roles, training, as well as actual calls made during the game. The ESPN officiating crew will rotate on and off the field throughout the game with an actual SEC officiating crew.
"We appreciate the opportunity to involve ESPN and SEC Network personalities in officiating Saturday's spring game at the University of Georgia," SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey stated. "The cooperation we have received from Georgia's Head Football Coach Kirby Smart, along with the Georgia coaching staff and student-athletes will provide a unique perspective in to college football. We hope fans at home and our friends in the media will enjoy this glimpse into what it is like to serve as an SEC Football Official."
The SEC Coordinator of Football Officials, Steve Shaw, will serve as the game's head referee and "white hat". He will be wired for sound to communicate with the announcers in the television booth during play to give viewers a unique perspective and explanation of in-game calls that are made. The umpire on the field will also wear a "head cam" for additional officiating viewpoints throughout the game. SEC Network + plans to stream a singular Ump Cam view throughout, available on the ESPN app and WatchESPN.
"It's an honor to be back on the field for such a significant learning opportunity," said Shaw. "I think it will be highly informative and enjoyable for our colleagues at ESPN, and hopefully insightful and educational for the fans watching at home. We've wanted to do something like this for a while now, and are appreciative to be able to do so on this stage on national television."
Traditional game coverage and play-by-play will be provided by Dave Neal and Matt Stinchcomb.
|Sat, April 22||2 p.m.||Georgia Spring Game: G-Day
Dave Neal, Matt Stinchcomb & Maria Taylor
|3 p.m.||Alabama Spring Game: A-Day
Joe Tessitore, Kirk Herbstreit, Joey Galloway & Laura Rutledge
|4 p.m.||Tennessee Spring Game: Orange & White Game
Clay Matvick, Clint Stoerner & Jerry Punch
|8 p.m.||LSU Spring Game: National L-Club Day
Tom Hart, Andre Ware & Tom Luginbill