For most film and broadcasting graduates at Utah's colleges and universities, it's L.A. or bust.

"I send most of my students to Los Angeles or New York," said Carolyn Hanson of the Theatre and Media Arts program at Brigham Young University."This (Utah) is just not a big market," added Ed Pease, head of the communication department at Utah State University.

But during the 2002 Winter Olympics, some 400 Utah college students who want to work in film or television could gain hands-on experience covering one of the world's biggest sporting events.

International Sports Broadcasting (ISB), host broadcaster of the games, announced a program Thursday that would move students at BYU, Utah State, University of Utah, Weber State University and Salt Lake Community College into positions in the company's production team during the Games.

"This is the best legacy we as broadcasters can leave for the Games," said ISB President Manolo Romero.

"We can't leave a physical legacy, like a venue," added Mark Parkman, ISB vice president of operations. "Instead, we are leaving a human legacy, a basis of good training for hundreds of students."

ISB has the job of keeping NBC and dozens of other international networks happy. Those in broadcast media and billions in the television and video audiences around the world will be depending on the company to provide them with 900 hours of clean, quality Games footage over the 16 days of competition.

Romero organized broadcast training programs for the Games in Los Angeles in 1984, Barcelona in 1992 and Atlanta in 1996.

The students are paid a starting salary of $150 each day and will work from 10 days to one month, according to Parkman.

Don Mink, who was a commentary assistant as a student at the Atlanta Games, is now a full-time employee of ISB.

"It gave me my start, and made me so much more marketable," he said.

Mink has worked in film and for the cable network ESPN2.

"To have the Olympics on your resumé is a real eye-catcher," he said.

Students will have to take pre-requisite courses through their school, which is why the program is being announced a full two years before the Games begin.

After that classwork, students will attend a workshop provided by ISB. But they will still have a rigorous application and interview process before being put to work.

"Language capabilities will be especially useful to us," Romero said. "We believe Utah has more to offer in that respect than other parts of the country."

Students will be employed in jobs ranging from camera operator to audio assistant.

"We're always looking for real-world experience for our students," said Pease. "This program and the Olympics bring the world here."