By Jonathan Okanes
MIchael Rosenthal may finally get on Sportscenter, after all.
The USC water polo player jokes there are a ton of feats accomplished in the pool that should make ESPN’s “Top 10 plays,” but they are never seen because of lack of exposure. With the Pac-12 Networks’ announcement today that seven men’s water polo matches will be televised this fall, the sport should start to garner more notoriety across the country.
“We don’t get very much attention,” said Rosenthal, an honorable mention All-American last season who helped the Trojans win their fourth consecutive NCAA championship. “This is amazing for the sport. I think college water polo in the United States is a pretty high level of water polo. It’s incredible.”
In addition to the water polo matches, the Pac-12 Networks also announced they will televise six field hockey games involving the two conference schools that have programs — Cal and Stanford. Both teams will host two-time national champ Maryland in August. Two games against each other will also be aired.
And the networks additionally revealed they will televise the Pac-12 Cross Country Championships, marking the first conference championship game or tournament that they will air. The date for the event will be announced later.
All four conference schools that have men’s water polo programs — UCLA, USC, Cal and Stanford — will be featured on the networks, including the initial broadcast on Sept. 22 featuring Loyola Marymount and UCLA. All games will be on Saturday, except for the Stanford-UCLA game on Friday, Nov. 9.
“I think there is a good amount of interest, especially in California,” Rosenthal said. “For high school age kids, it’s not always easy to get to all the good games. This really gives an opportunity for younger kids to get excited about water polo and watch all the games.”
Rosenthal is especially excited because he is from Florida, and previously most of his family and friends would have to make the cross-country trip to see him play.
“My grandparents have always wanted to come watch but it’s hard for them to travel,” Rosenthal said. “This gives them an opportunity to see me play. It’s pretty special.”
For the complete water polo and field hockey schedules, click here.