A Q&A with Derek Scott, the new South Carolina play-by-play voice for men’s basketball and baseball. The basketball season starts Friday night.
Q: How long have you been at South Carolina?
A: “I got here in July of 2007. I was basically a salesman and I came here to do sports marketing. It was Action Sports Media, which at the time we were split as a school. ASM did videoboards, digital signage and the like, while Gamecock Sports Properties had coaches’ shows, the Internet, things of that nature. I had been here about six months when ISP bought out ASM. We started working under the same umbrella.”
Q: Did you come to South Carolina with the intent of broadcasting?
A: “It was kind of a strange situation. I had talked to Liz (McMillan) and they didn’t have any openings on the sales staff and didn’t need help on the broadcast side. I wasn’t worried about that, but I wanted to continue working in college athletics. Once we merged, I was then available and started filling in when there were conflicts with basketball and baseball. When Mike (Morgan) did basketball and baseball started, I’d do some baseball. I’d done just a few games and I got a call from Bob Fulton. I knew of him but I didn’t know him. He basically asked me who I was. As I was telling him, Bob told me he really liked my baseball. That blew me away. More and more opportunities presented themselves and we created ‘Inside the Roost,’ so I had a regular appearance on 107.5 The Game. And then I was doing some work on SportSouth for tape delay games.”
Q: Was there ever a point where you wanted to be a full-time broadcaster?
A: “Not really. I was good here. My wife and I had jobs here and really liked Columbia and the community. There was a lot going on here, and where we were before was a very small college town. It wasn’t Columbia, with a lot else going on. Plus, not a lot of full-time broadcast jobs pay the bills. That was really it as much as anything. I was too old to be running around trying to be on ESPN, because I had to pay for a house. So I had a great position keeping my feet in the broadcasting water and doing my day job.”
Q: How did your broadcasting role begin to increase?
A: “The creation of SEC Network opened up some more opportunities. They needed TV and play-by-play for so many different sports. I’d do a dozen volleyball games, a half-dozen basketball games and 30 baseball games. It was a lot more regular work.”
Q: Did you immediately want the job when Andy Demetra announced he was leaving?
A: “Absolutely. Andy called me after he had received the offer from Georgia Tech. He was considering his options but wanted to let me know. I decided I’d just as well put my hat in the ring and see what the thoughts were on campus and with IMG.”
Q: Andy did a lot of off-the-radio work, such as “Inside the Chart.” Will you do the same?
A: “No, the plan, from what I gathered, was the play-by-play would return to what it had been before Andy. It’s contract work and a freelance position. This is not going to be full-time with salary and benefits. It made a lot of sense here with how secure I am at IMG. It builds more familiarity with the folks I do business with.”
Q: How have you been preparing?
A: “I have been attending practice regularly, talking one-on-one with staff members whenever I could. I’ve been doing prep work for teams we’re going to see early in the season. From there, you just have to start getting your spot charts ready and familiarizing yourself with the home team.”
Q: And you already knew your future partners, Casey Manning and Tommy Moody?
A: “Yes. I’ve built up friendships and relationships with each of them. That’s what made it a lot easier.”
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