New York Sports Anchor Bruce Beck to Announce Cortaca Jug Football Game

By David Maley, November 8, 2022
IC alum will partner with current students for YES Network broadcast.

Longtime NBC 4 New York sports anchor and 1978 Ithaca College graduate Bruce Beck will serve as the play-by-play announcer for the  Cortaca Jug football game between Ithaca College and SUNY Cortland at Yankee Stadium, to be televised live on the YES Network on Saturday, November 12, at 12 p.m. ET.

Beck will work alongside a team of students from the college’s Roy H. Park School of Communications for the network’s broadcast of the game.

This is a wonderful opportunity to represent my alma mater on the airwaves,” said Beck. “I am thrilled to collaborate with some talented sportscasters of tomorrow on the Cortaca Jug broadcast. For me personally, this is an assignment where the past, present, and future all collide at iconic Yankee Stadium.”

One of the most recognized names in New York sports journalism, Beck has spent the past two decades at NBC 4 New York, where he is currently the lead sports anchor. He was named 2021 National Sports Anchor of the Year by Broadcasting & Cable Magazine and is the founder of the Bruce Beck Sports Broadcasting Camp, an immersive experience that results in scores of campers each year pursuing communications at the collegiate level.

In 2017, Beck was presented with the Jessica Savitch Award of Distinction for Excellence in Journalism by the Roy H. Park School of Communications.

“The participation of distinguished alumnus Bruce Beck in partnership with our communications students is yet another illustration of how Ithaca College is using the opportunities provided by IC in the City to further strengthen student-alumni connections. We are thrilled to empower students through experiential learning that incorporates the college’s distinctive integration of theory, practice, and performance."

President La Jerne Terry Cornish

Students in the Park School will have the benefit of working as part of the YES Network broadcast, which will also be streamed by Ithaca College Television at ICTV.org and on the YES App. The college’s student-run radio station WICB will air the game as well, to Central New York at 91.7 FM and streamed everywhere at WICB.org.

“Bruce Beck is one of the best in the business and we are so grateful to have his incredible announcing talent and the wonderful mentorship he provides our students,” said Amy Falkner, dean of the Park School. “He is a gem and he bleeds Bomber blue. He will inspire to great heights our young men and women contributing to the game production, providing color commentary, and reporting from the sidelines.”

Falkner said approximately 50 students will be involved in various capacities with the YES Network production and through multiple Park School co-curricular organizations—ICTV, WICB, The Ithacan, and the recently established Creative Media unit that is a partnership between Park and the Department of Athletics, emphasizing social media efforts for all of the college’s sports teams. Fans can follow the IC football feed on Twitter and Instagram, both using @IthacaBomberFB.

students in the box

Park students covering the 2019 Cortaca game at MetLife Stadium. (Photo submitted)

An additional student learning opportunity is through the Park School’s Live Events course taught by Professor Chrissy Guest. This group of students will be interviewing alumni from both Ithaca College and SUNY Cortland as part of the Cortaca Giving Challenge, a fundraising effort for both schools. Students will be filming all over Manhattan and the Bronx in this effort. The Challenge will be streamed before the game on giving.ithaca.edu, the Giving Challenge web page.

“We are excited to have all of these great learning opportunities,” Falkner said, noting that students will also be working on a pre-recorded pre-game show and live halftime production, the latter being conducted from a virtual set in the Park School studios to provide even more students with the chance to participate. “They are both ecstatic and appreciative to work alongside such esteemed professionals. The Park School is abuzz about the game, along with the rest of campus, and we look forward to representing Ithaca College and cheering on the football team.”

The New York Yankees invited the Ithaca Bombers and Cortland Red Dragons to play the 2022 edition of the Cortaca Jug contest—once referred to by Sports Illustrated as “the biggest little game in the nation”—at Yankee Stadium. A limited number of game tickets remain available for purchase at Ticketmaster and at cortacajug.com.

The 63rd annual edition of the Cortaca Jug game is the centerpiece of a weekend-long series of Ithaca College events in New York City, which will include the annual Alumni Awards Celebration, a variety of reunion gatherings, and “IC on Broadway: South Hill State of Mind,” a performance featuring alumni stars of the stage along with current students in the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance.

“The participation of distinguished alumnus Bruce Beck in partnership with our communications students is yet another illustration of how Ithaca College is using the opportunities provided by IC in the City to further strengthen student-alumni connections. We are thrilled to empower students through experiential learning that incorporates the college’s distinctive integration of theory, practice, and performance,” said President La Jerne Terry Cornish.