LA Tech Media Room Named in Honor of Buddy Davis Reply

EDITOR’S NOTE: Long-time FWAA member Buddy Davis was the recipient of the FWAA’s Lifetime Achivement Award in 2016.  

RUSTON, La. – For more than five decades, Orville Kince “Buddy” Davis has written more words about Lincoln Parish’s athletic stars and even everyday little leaguers than one can count.

Yet, late Wednesday afternoon, Louisiana Tech officials left the Louisiana Tech Athletics and Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame scribe at a loss for words.

Louisiana Tech President Les Guice, Athletics Director Tommy McClelland and a handful of other Tech athletic administrators joined the likes of Leon Barmore, Steve Davison, Jim Oakes, Teddy Allen and a number of Buddy’s Ruston Daily Leader family in the “Jack Lambert Suite” – Room 58 – at Princeton Place.

It was the least the group could do for the birthday boy. Buddy turned 71 on Wednesday.

Just hours after conducting a tour for the local media of the new press box and suites at Joe Aillet Stadium – a tour Buddy wasn’t able to attend due to doctor’s orders – McClelland stood at his bedside, showing the 50-year veteran of the pen the renderings of the $18-plus million facility.

After flipping through pages that covered the new concourse, the camera deck and the luxury suites, McClelland finally got to the level that a man of Buddy’s profession was interested in seeing. Level 3, the press area. The home for the Buddy Davis’s of the media world during LA Tech football games.

As Buddy’s eyes lit up looking at the renderings, they soon filled with tears.

“Buddy, the real reason we are here is to tell you something,” said McClelland. “There are a lot of people at Louisiana Tech and in Lincoln Parish who love you and who have benefited from your writing for so many years. You have done so much for Louisiana Tech University, more than you will ever know.

“In honor of that and of who you are, we are naming the large working press area of the new facility the Buddy Davis Media Room. We feel this is only fitting for a man who has done so much for this area for the past five decades.”

A man who mastered the written word even before the old press box was constructed in 1968 was at a loss for any. As tears rolled down his face, he just starred at the renderings of the graphics depicting his five decades of covering Louisiana Tech and all of Lincoln Parish.

“Buddy, these graphics will tell your story,” McClelland said. “They tell the story of all the incredible Louisiana Tech athletes and coaches you have written about and so many other Lincoln Parish greats. As you have told the story of so many others over the years, this will tell your story.”

The rooms large rear wall measuring 12 feet tall by 40 feet wide contains five panels – each one representing a decade in documenting Buddy’s career – and both large and small photos of Louisiana Tech and Lincoln Parish greats that he has covered.

Buddy began working at the Ruston Daily Leader as a student at Ruston High School and kept doing so while a student at Louisiana Tech before becoming Sports Editor for the Leader. Nearly 50 years’ worth of covering Tech athletes has not only produced countless awards but has also helped Buddy forge many friendships.

A few of those friends represented the masses in the Jack Lambert Suite.

“It’s so humbling,” said Buddy after most of the emotions had finally faded away. “All I’ve done is what I love to do … and to be honored in this way. I’m speechless. I’m a writer, but there are no words. It’s overwhelming. I am so appreciative and cannot thank everyone at Louisiana Tech enough for this gesture.”

Overwhelming yet fitting for a man who garnered numerous awards during his career, including enshrinement in the Louisiana Tech Athletics Hall of Fame in 2013.

A few of Buddy’s other honors include the Distinguished Service Award from the Louisiana Sports Writers Hall of Fame, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Football Writers Association of America, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association and the Louisiana Tech College of Liberal Arts Alumnus of the Year.

“I am not sure we can give this man his due,” said Barmore. “It does me so much good to see someone local, grow up and accomplish what he has done in his hometown. I wouldn’t be in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame without Buddy Davis. A lot of use wouldn’t have achieved all that we have achieved without Buddy. What an incredible career. I love the guy and deeply appreciate what he has done for me and Louisiana Tech. He is a treasure that we all should appreciate.”

Buddy is one of just a handful of people still working who sat in the original Joe Aillet Stadium press box when it opened in 1968. Now the Lincoln Parish legend will be forever honored along the back wall of the new one when it officially opens Sept. 2 when the Bulldogs host Northwestern State.

“I really didn’t see this coming … it’s unbelievable,” said Buddy.

College Football America 2017 Yearbook now available Reply

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — RoadTripSports.com is proud to announce the release of the 2017 edition of the College Football America Yearbook, an annual publication that previews every college football conference at every level of college football in the United States and Canada.

The fifth annual print edition is available via Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com at a list price of $39.99, while the digital edition is available via iBooks for $9.99. Many retailers, however, offer the print edition for even less.

“Counting high school games, bowl games and all-star games, our staff attended more than 100 football games again in 2016,” says Kendall Webb, the publisher of the College Football America Yearbook. “Then, like we always do, we spent the spring sorting it all out and preparing the latest edition of the yearbook.

“I honestly believe it’s the best yearbook we’ve ever released, and we’re all excited to get it out there in the market and in the hands of college football fans.”

The College Football America Yearbook is published independently by Webb with Matthew Postins serving as the publication’s editor-in-chief. Chuck Cox, meanwhile, assists as the director of editorial content. All of the publication’s staff members are members of the Football Writers Association of America, and collectively serve on the selection committees for several of college football’s major postseason awards.

This year’s book features Louisville quarterback and reigning Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson on the cover. Jackson piled up a combined total of 5,114 yards and 51 touchdowns last season to lead the Cardinals to a 9-4 record.

Some of the features in the 317-page publication include:

  • Top Ten Games of 2017: Five FBS games and one game each in FCS, Division II, Division III, NAIA and Juco that will be impactful this season.
  • The Heisman Race: A look at the front-runners and dark horses for college football’s most prestigious award in 2017. 
  • The Dream Team: The College Football America Yearbook’s unique take on major college football’s All-America team.
  • Schedules and Results: 2017 Schedules and 2016 results for every single college football team in the United states including all NCAA, NAIA, NCCAA, USCAA, NJCAA and CCCAA programs.

Additionally, College Football America 2017 Yearbook previews all of the conferences at every level in the United States along with the four conferences of Canada’s U Sports. The yearbook also provides updates of Mexico’s CONADEIP and ONEFA leagues.

Links

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2u2K9rz

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2uW27cQ

 

Hatchell to enter CU Athletic Hall of Fame

Longtime FWAA member Steve Hatchell, the President and CEO of the National Football Foundation, will be inducted into the 2017 CU Athletic Hall of Fame in November.

 

The following is the media release from CU.

 

Steve Hatchell, president and CEO of the National Football Foundation. Photo by Melissa Macatee.

BOULDER — The 13th class that will be inducted into the University of Colorado Athletic Hall of Fame this November 10 will feature 10 Golden Buffalo legends who are representative of eight sports in the school’s history, all of whom left indeliblemarks in their CU athletic careers.

The ten, two of whom will be honored posthumously, represent those eight different sports over a period that spans from the early 1940s to early last decade, covering seven different decades in all. Included in the group are a pair of football teammates from the ‘70s; two of CU’s standout female performers basketball and volleyball in the early 1990s; the school’s first

star skier; one of CU’s first high‐profile national recruits in men’s basketball; a national cross country individual champion; a longtime coach and state golfing legend; a member of three conference champion football teams who had an outstanding and lengthy career in the pros; and a man who rose from manager of the football team to several full‐time positions in the athletic  department before really making his mark nationally as one of the top administrators in college sports.

The 2017 class will be the 13th inducted into the Hall since it was conceived in 1998, and the 10 will join 91 individuals (and the 1959 ski team as a unit) who have been enshrined to date (12 have been honored previously after their deaths). Athletic director Rick George personally notified all eight living members of the upcoming class of their impending induction, as well as the next of kin for two deceased inductees, CU’s first three‐time All‐American in any sport, skier Frank  Brown, and longtime golf coach after lettering in the sport himself in Les Fowler.

The group will officially be inducted in the Hall of Fame on Friday, Nov. 10, in a luncheon ceremony at the CU Champions Center; will be featured in the Pearl Street Stampede parade that night; and then will be introduced at halftime of the CU‐ Southern California football game on Saturday, Nov. 11, to complete the weekend.

Those to be inducted:

  • Stan Brock, Football (1976-79)
  • Chad Brown, Football (1989-92)
  • Frank Brown, Skiing (1957-59)
  • Karrie Downey, Volleyball (1991-94)
  • Les Fowler, Golf & Golf Coach (1946-76)
  • Steve Hatchell, Football/Administration (1966-75)
  • Mark Haynes, Football (1976-79)
  • Jay Humphries, Basketball (1980-84)
  • Jamillah Lang, Women’s Basketball (1990-94)
  • Jorge Torres, Cross Country & Track (1999-2003)

All three football players were high selections in the National Football League Draft, as Haynes and Brock were first  round picks in 1980 (eighth and 12th overall, respectively), while Brown was a second‐rounder and 44th overall in the ’93 draft.

Humphries, along with Inglewood (Calif.) High School teammate Vince Kelley, were perhaps the first two high profile national recruits in men’s basketball, while Lang herself was a big‐time signee out of Washington High in Kansas City, Kan.

Downey was one of the early stars on CU’s fledgling volleyball team, joining the squad in its sixth year of existence and played a major role in the program taking a major step forward. Torres, on the other hand, was a key in helping the Buffs go from perennial conference champion to winning CU’s first men’s national cross country championship in 2001.

Hatchell started as a football team manager doing what they do – laundry, sizing equipment, fixing helmets –  to being an  assistant to the athletic director, the late Eddie Crowder, and being the right‐hand man to ski coach Bill Marolt at the front end of CU’s eight straight NCAA ski titles. After a short stint as co‐sports information director, he moved on to several high profile collegiate positions with the Big 8, Metro and Southwest conferences, with a run as the Orange Bowl’s executive director sprinkled in‐between, to where he is now, the top man with the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame.

Frank Brown was an All‐American in both alpine and Nordic events three straight years, while Fowler starred as a golfer in the late 1940s and took over coaching the team in 1948 through his retirement midway during the 1976‐77 athletic year.

All inductees were nominated by their peers in the Alumni C‐Club or by members of the selection committee; 27  semifinalists emerged from over 60 names originally submitted over the last three years. There are now 101 members (plus the ’59 ski team, CU’s first national champions) in the CU Athletic HOF since its inception in 1998. An athlete must be at least 10 years removed from his or her CU career and retired from professional sports (teams) to be considered for induction.

With an induction every year instead of on a biennial basis as was the case for the first 16 years of the Hall, CU has been able to get more of those who are deserving of the recognition honored in a shorter time span with larger induction classes over the last four years.

 

Deadline for Best Writing Contest extended to July 10

FWAA members may submit entries in the 2017 Best Writing Contest until July 10.

CATEGORIES

• Game Story (Immediate Deadline)

• Feature Story/Profile

• Enterprise/Investigative

• Column/Analysis/Commentary

BEAT WRITER OF THE YEAR AWARD

In addition, see below, we have created a special award for the top beat writer as judged by a special FWAA committee headed by FWAA board member Malcolm Moran. He is now the director of the Sports Capital Journalism Program, IUPUI.

WRITING CONTEST RULES

You must be an FWAA member in good standing to enter.

Deadline: July 10, 2017. Entries sent after the deadline WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED.

Limit: One (1) article per category, although a series of articles may be submitted in the enterprise category.

Entries must have appeared in print or on line between Feb. 1, 2016 and Jan. 31, 2017.

Entries must be submitted electronically to contest@fwaa.com.

Entries not sent to this e-mail address will not be accepted

Send MS Word or text files only. DO NOT SEND HTML files, Word Perfect files, stories in other word processing software or links to stories on the Internet or electronic libraries

Make your entry easy to read by taking out unnecessary carriage returns (They can give your entry an odd look when opened by a judge’s word processing program)

Delete any embedded advertising, photos and cutlines from the files (The file should contain only your story and your identifying information)

At the top of each entry, the following information should be included:

• Writer(s)

• Publication or online service

• Category

• Date of publication

• E-mail address and telephone number for the writer(s) of the entry

The entries will be sorted and stripped of identifying information and forwarded to the judge(s).

Files containing your entries should follow this naming convention: yourname-category.doc

The category must be one of these four words: Game, Feature, Enterprise or Column

Example: KenStephens-game.doc

Only entries sent electronically will be accepted and all entries will be sorted and stripped of identifying information and forwarded to the judge(s)

FWAA BEAT WRITER OF THE YEAR AWARD: If you have a nomination of a beat writer who covers major college football (either a team or a conference) or you want to nominate yourself, please send an e-mail/letter explaining the qualifications of the person (no more than 250 words) to:

Malcolm Moran

Sports Capital Journalism Program IUPUI

University Library 3100J

755 W. Michigan

Indianapolis, IN 46202

Malcolm’s e-mail is malcolmmoran1@gmail.com. Malcolm and his committee will then make inquiries into the FWAA members nominated. In order to qualify for this award the person nominated must have been an FWAA member during the 2016 football season.

Questions? E-mail Ken Stephens at ken.stephens@sbcglobal.net.

FWAA member Donald Hunt to be inducted into Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame

Donald Hunt, a long-time FWAA member and writer for the Philadelphia Tribune, will be inducted into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame on Thursday, Nov. 2. The class of 2017 was announced at a ceremony on Thursday.

His son, also named Donald, was named the Volney Meece Scholarship winner in 2010.

CLICK HERE to read the entire story on Hunt’s selection for the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame.

Duffy Daugherty’s 1967 call for playoff was way ahead of its time

Executive Director’s note: In 1966 Notre Dame and Michigan State played to a 10-10 tie, setting off a controversy over which team should be No. 1. The game is still talked about until this day more than 50 years later.  Both teams finished the season unbeaten with a tie against each other. Notre Dame wound up No. 1 in three of the major polls, including in the voting for the FWAA’s Grantland Rice Trophy . But the National Football Foundation awarded the MacArthur Bowl to both teams.

The following September Michigan State coach Duffy Daugherty wrote a column for the Family Weekly suggesting a Football Playoff. It took college football until the 2014 season to stage a four-team format at the top level of the sport. The Spartans’ coach was way ahead of his time when he talked about the process in the attached column.

FWAA president calls on members to pitch our organization, benefits to non-member colleagues

By David Jones, 2017 FWAA President

I have met many FWAA members who’ve made great use of our organization. But maybe none struck me so much as a reporter I met last month while covering the Penn State spring scrimmage in State College.

David Jones, 2017 FWAA President

I would say it doesn’t take a nuclear engineer to figure out the benefits of FWAA membership. But then, such a guy would certainly be bright enough to recognize them, too.

I submit to you Blaise Collin, nuclear physicist by trade, college football reporter as a side gig, writing for the French-language football site Football Americain. He’s a proud member and his FWAA directory has served him well.

Collin was born and raised in the town of Nancy in east-central France near the German border. As a young boy, he was fascinated by video of American football. A couple of trips to his aunt’s home in Boston whetted his appetite. And after college, a year-long post-doctoral stint with the Penn State physics department in 2003 sent him over the top.

Collin was so taken by the sport that, even after returning to Paris to work, he took vacation time to make trips to the U.S. to see college games in Pac-12 country. And when he took a job in Idaho Falls, Idaho, as a research scientist with the Idaho National Laboratory in 2010, he began writing for FootballAmericain.com on the side. The site serves 20,000 fans of American football in France and French-speaking countries.

That’s when Collin discovered the FWAA. He joined in 2012. And he told me his directory has been indispensible in making contacts, finding sports info personnel to request credentials and feeding his bottomless thirst for college football knowledge:

“The booklet is really useful. It saves a lot of time. All the contacts are in one place.”

And that’s how he ended up in State College last month covering the Penn State “Blue-White” game as a credentialed reporter for FootballAmericain.com and revisiting his old stomping grounds.

I’ve used the directory my entire career since joining the FWAA in the 1990s, but for more than just calling SIDs. To me, tempering and honing what I think I know about a team or program or association with the clarity of someone who really knows it better than anyone — a veteran beat-writer or columnist from the school or an officer from the organization — is its most valuable resource. Cell phones and email addresses for just about everyone are in the directory.

And every time you consult the opinion or insight of such a person and use it, they remember you. There’s no better way to broaden your knowledge and build your contact list. Isn’t that really what reporting is all about?

That’s why I’m urging current members to reach out to those who either don’t know us or maybe have heard of us but aren’t members. Think of someone in your sphere, then look him or her up and see if they’re in the directory. If not, give them a pitch.

Becoming an FWAA member can’t help but be an asset — both to the new recruit and to you. Because we all know how great being in this association is.

Annual dues are $50. And for that, you get the directory — which is worth it by itself — but also more benefits than we’ve ever had. I’ll just touch on my favorite ones:

  • As “Hilton MVPs,” FWAA members get 20 percent off the best available rate at participating Hilton Worldwide properties around the country (includes Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites, Hampton Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2, Hilton Grand Vacations, Conrad and Waldorf Astoria). Also, MVP members can earn Hilton HHonors® GOLD VIP status with as little as four stays or nine total nights in 90 days, four times faster than normal. I’ve been a Hilton Honors member for years because I love the chain. This makes the deal sweeter.
  • FWAA members have complimentary network-wide access to 247Sports.com. Considering 247’s growth recently, I think that asset goes without saying.
  • There is no single annual publication that covers college football more thoroughly than “the book the experts can’t do without,” the Phil Steele College Football Preview. I have every copy back to the first in 1995. FWAA members who enroll or re-up by June 12 receive a complimentary copy. Once the magazine goes to print, copies are automatically mailed to active members. That’s a $12.99 value alone.
  • New this year: Complimentary admission to College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta and a discounted rate for accompanying guests with your 2017-18 membership card. Plus, half–price membership to the National Football Foundation (which allows you to vote for the College Football Hall of Fame).
  • Also new this year: FWAA members will receive $10 off the annual subscription to ESPN.com’s Insider. ESPN.com does not offer any other discounts on this subscription.

Beyond all of these tangible benefits is the intangible one: The FWAA is a brother-and-sisterhood. I feel we are the most cohesive and impactful such association in any major sport. Our members are and have been giants in the profession. And, with all the youthful talent we now have in the organization, that trend will only continue.

Be a part of us and bring others along. I can tell you, the benefits last a career.

FWAA names ‘Super 11’ sports information departments of 2016 season

DALLAS — Five previous winners and six first-time winners comprise the Eighth Annual Super 11 Awards, which the FWAA gives out annually to the best performing sports information departments in the Football Bowl Subdivision. The awards announced this week are for the 2016 season.

USC claimed its seventh Super 11 award and third straight. Nebraska won for the fifth time overall and fourth time in five seasons. Clemson and Colorado each won for a fourth time. It was Clemson’s second straight award and Colorado’s third award in four seasons.

Navy was the other past winner, having claimed a spot back in 2010, the second year the Super 11 was named.

The first-time winners are Air Force, Arkansas State, Miami (Ohio), Oklahoma State, Tennessee and UTEP in the awards selection that dates back to the 2009 season.

“Our organization believes this award is one of the most important tasks that we do each year,” said Tim Griffin of Cox Communications, the FWAA’s 2010 president and the head of the Super 11 committee.

“There are many outstanding SID staffs across the country. But these 11 departments we are honoring are consistently exemplary beyond expectations. We hope these awards help to showcase them.”

Criteria employed in determining the winners not only included how press boxes and media operations were operated, but also the quality and timeliness of information provided. Also judged was the amount of information presented and appropriately updated on websites, and personal responsiveness to media inquiries as well as the accessibility of a program’s players, coaches and assistant coaches. The ratings considered those departments that went the extra mile in servicing the media.

The Super 11 Committee received input from other FWAA members and others who covered college football during the 2016 season.

“The FWAA takes very serious the importance of good sports information departments and what they can mean to coverage of college Football,” said PA Media Group’s David Jones, 2017 FWAA President. “They can greatly aid in that coverage. And we want to salute those departments. Obviously, there are other top sports information departments. But these are ones the committee believed were in the top category during the 2016 season.”

In January 2009, the FWAA formed the first Super 11 Committee. The concept has been supported and endorsed by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), many of whom are members of the FWAA.

The FWAA, a non-profit organization founded in 1941, consists of more than 1,300 men and women across North America who cover college football for a living. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include game-day operations, major awards (Eddie Robinson, Outland and Nagurski), a national poll and its annual All-America teams that date to 1944.

For more information on the Super 11, contact committee chairman Tim Griffin (210-823-3666, timgriffin59@hotmail.com) or visit the association’s official website, footballwriters.com.