Renew membership by June 12 to get Phil Steele Magazine

Please be advised that in order to have a printed version of the Phil Steele Magazine mailed to you, you must have joined the Football Writers Association of America for 2016-17 or renewed your membership  by June 12. There is a box in your profile to check if you want the magazine. These will be electronically gathered through the system and turned over to Phil Steele. Those who requested the magazine will be on the list.

Increased costs in mailing the magazine have made this necessary per Phil’s request to do one mailing to FWAA members when the magazine first hits the streets.

If you don’t care if you get a printed magazine, then you don’t have to worry about this deadline. You have plenty of time to renew your 2016-17 FWAA membership through early August.


President’s column: Beat Writer award to be named for Steve Ellis 1

By Mark Anderson, FWAA President

A friend and I were traveling through the West with Steve Ellis back in the early 1990s. We all woke up in Provo, Utah, one morning ready to hit the road. But first we had to wait for Steve to file a Florida State football notebook.

In July. On his vacation.

2016 FWAA President Mark Anderson

2016 FWAA President Mark Anderson

That was Steve. From him, I learned the value of great reporting. No one could ever outwork Steve. The trips with Steve also gave me a love for this region of the country and an appreciation for the beauty of the West. I eventually made my way from the Tallahassee Democrat to the Reno Gazette-Journal and then to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Having worked with and having known Steve, I think it is truly appropriate that we name our FWAA Beat Writer of the Year Award after him. I have to credit FWAA Board Member Malcolm Moran, a long-time friend of Steve’s, with the idea. We both wish Steve could be here to enjoy the recognition.

Steve, sad to say, died on Nov. 19, 2009 after suffering a heart attack nine days earlier. His widow, Karen, will attend the FWAA’s Annual Awards Breakfast on Jan. 9, 2017 in Tampa and present the award in his name.

Karen shared her thoughts with the FWAA:

When I found out the Football Writers Association of America planned to name its Beat Writer of the Year Award after Steve, I was completely overwhelmed with emotion. I know Steve was an outstanding writer and a special man, but to be recognized by his peers is just amazing. I watched Steve work 24/7 to make sure he didn’t miss a story and to ensure all the facts were correct. The other writers on the Florida State beat always said they had to work harder just to keep up with Steve. He truly loved what he did and knew at an early age he wanted to be a writer.

When we first started dating Steve was working on a story about a freshman football player and was worried about a quote he thought could give people the wrong impression about the young man. He called the player’s position coach and was up until 2 a.m. waiting for a quote from the coach that would help give credibility to the player with fans. More…

Pre-season conference media days on tap

The following dates and locations for 2016 football media days have been set:

SEC:  July 11-14,  Hoover, AL (Hyatt Regency-Wynfrey)

BIG 12:  July 18-19. Dallas (Omni Hotel)

ATLANTIC COAST:  July 21-22, Charlotte, NC (Westin Hotel)

BIG TEN: July 25-26, Chicago (Hyatt Regency McCormick Place)

AMERICAN:  Aug. 1-2, Newport, RI (Hyatt Regency)

CONFERENCE USA:  July 25-26, Irving, TX (C-USA Offices/Las Colinas Marriott)

MOUNTAIN WEST: July 26-27, Las Vegas, NV  (Cosmopolitan)

SUN BELT: July 25, New Orleans (Mercedes-Benz Superdome/Omni Riverfront Hotel)

PAC-12:  July 14-15, Hollywood, CA (Loews Hollywood Hotel)

MID-AMERICAN:  July 28, Detroit (Ford Field)

FWAA selects ‘Super 11’ of top sports information departments for 2015 season

super 11DALLAS — The Football Writers Association of America has selected its seventh “Super 11” group of sports information departments deemed the best in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision for the 2015 season.

The winners: Clemson (ACC), Houston (American), Kansas State (Big 12), Louisiana (Sun Belt), Indiana (Big Ten), Mississippi State (SEC), Northern Illinois (MAC), Pittsburgh (ACC), USC (Pac-12), Utah State (Mountain West) and Western Kentucky (Conference USA).

USC is a six-time winner of the award and Clemson and Pittsburgh have won three times each. Houston, Northern Illinois, Utah State and Western Kentucky have been named Super 11 winners previously.

First-time winners of the award are Kansas State, Indiana, Mississippi State and Louisiana. Over the seven-year period, the FWAA has honored 49 different schools.