No one understands Notre Dame better than former SID Roger Valdiserri

Roger Valdiserri, former Notre Dame sports information director

Roger Valdiserri, former Notre Dame sports information director

Roger Valdiserri is now a retired FWAA member, but for many years he serviced the media as the Sports Information Director at Notre Dame. This is a story about him  from the December 2013 publication of “Strong of Heart,” which features Notre Dame athletes, coaches and administrators who have or have had successful careers. Click here to read the story.

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Member’s website provides database of Texas high school honors, playoff history

TheAthleticsDepartment.com

TheAthleticsDepartment.com

TheAthleticsDepartment.com is an online Texas high school athletics history book. TheAthleticsDepartment.com gathers Texas high school honor teams (All-State, All-District) and playoff pairings and stores them in a database. The result is a resource for media. TheAthleticsDepartment.com gives media an instant honors bio of Texas high school student-athletes. Our database now contains five years of all-district and all-state team members; 20 years of enrollment figures, alignments and round-by-round playoff results in all UIL team sports; and all state champions.

Current year honors and playoff information is on TheAthleticsDepartment.com. In the Premium Access you gain the full benefit of our complete database, searching our coaches directory, honors history and playoff history.

Grace Media, LLC is the publisher of The Athletics Department.com, a Texas web site dedicated to high school athletics history. The site is founded by former sports newspaper reporter/editor and FWAA member Sarah Hornaday.

Questions? Phone: 512.452.8800 or Email Info@GraceMediaWeb.com.

Omaha World-Herald’s FWAA members launching Internet radio show in March

Omaha World-Herald columnist  and former FWAA President  Tom Shatel  and his colleague Lee Barfknecht, the FWAA’s first vice-president, and several other FWAA members at the World-Herald are part of this new radio internet program that will launch in March. The following is Tom’s column about plans for the new show.

Beam me up, Mike’l.

We’re not far from a day when the AM radio will be replaced by Internet radio. A time when you can get in your car, plug in your phone and listen to your favorite talk show, order a pizza or buy movie tickets over the Internet.

Omaha World-Herald columnist and former FWAA President Tom Shatel

Omaha World-Herald columnist and former FWAA President Tom Shatel

So says Mike’l Severe, the new host of the World-Herald show “The Bottom Line.”

“It’s already starting,” Severe said. “I drove a Dodge truck recently and you’re able to drive to the movie theater, look up what’s playing, see the trailer, call the theater and buy tickets — all right there on that 7.1-inch screen.

“We’re not very far from ‘Star Trek.’ ”

The World-Herald is preparing to boldly go where few newspapers have gone before.

Beginning in March, The World-Herald will host a sports talk show that will be accessible on Omaha.com or through a “The Bottom Line” phone app.

“The Bottom Line” will run Monday through Friday from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., and will feature World-Herald sportswriters, entertainment writers and news writers.

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2013 FWAA award photos

Photo Gallery: Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Presentation


And if you’re interested in hearing the parody of Born in the USA (Born in the SEC) that Rick Neiheisel sang to Gus Malzahn, CLICK HERE to see the Los Angeles Times’ video.

Photo Gallery: FWAA Awards Breakfast

New president Kirk Bohl’s column

2014 FWAA President Kirk Bohls

2014 FWAA President Kirk Bohls

INDIANAPOLIS — It’s the dawning of a new day for college football. I hope I don’t oversleep.

I wouldn’t want to miss it. By this time next year when we’ve celebrated our first champion from a real, live playoff culminating in Arlington, Texas, we might not even recognize the game. Change is coming, and, yes, it will be dramatic.

We enter 2014 with an appreciation for the rich past of this wonderful game we follow and an eye toward a future filled with equal parts anticipation of a historic season with the first College Football Playoff after the 2014 regular season. We also have a healthy concern for the direction of the sport. After all, the game is in a state of flux. Who knows when the Southeastern Conference will end its long drought and ever win another championship?

First, it’s a privilege to be your 2014 FWAA President. And I’d like to especially salute our 2013 President, Chris Dufresne, for his terrific service. I’d like to thank him for the great California weather for the final BCS game and the fact the game did not go into overtime

These are tumultuous times as college football wrestles with overwhelming issues: potential federation within the NCAA that could lead to a separate division and more distance between the haves and have-somes; Football Bowl Subdivision anxiety over uneven enforcement of penalties; players’ long-term health and safety; subsidies for players for the full cost of a scholarship; a tangled, complicated rulebook; and the controversial Ed O’Bannon lawsuit over payment for use of players’ likenesses for video games. And that doesn’t even count Lane Kiffin’s fascinating future, especially the week of the Alabama-Tennessee game.

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A fireside chat with your 2014 president, Kirk Bohls

2014 FWAA President Kirk Bohls

2014 FWAA President Kirk Bohls

(Ed. Note:  Executive Director Steve Richardson recently asked Kirk Bohls several questions about his life and a couple of topics so we could get to know him better.)

ATHLETIC BACKGROUND:  “I am a Taylor Duck (High School is 29 miles northeast of Austin) once and forever. I played every sport they had at Taylor, including football where I played Monster Man (strong safety) and was a 150-pound terror — at least in my mind. I also broke my neck in the first half of our homecoming game against Rockdale (we won) and played the entire second half. You can’t get much more stupid than that.”

WORK HISTORY:  “It can be summed up pretty simply. I graduated from the University of Texas in May 1973, went to work for the Austin American-Statesman that same month after coming within an hour of taking a job in Lubbock at the Avalanche Journal. I have been there ever since. My first year on the Texas beat was Darrell Royal’s last year. We broke the OU spying story the week of the 1976 OU game, and that’s still the most memorable Texas-OU game ever. My first year on the Texas baseball beat was 1977. Texas won the national championship. I’m thinking these beats are kind of cool. I think I’ll stick around. Some 40 years later…”

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AFCA convention offers alternative view on concussions

Dennis Dodd

Dennis Dodd

By Dennis Dodd/CBSSports.com

INDIANAPOLIS — College football coaches’ answer to the concussion crisis is a former University of Texas cheerleader who believes brains can heal themselves.

Hey, why not? Not much else has seemed to soothe the nation’s fears. The concussion crisis has resulted in a public relations crisis. The numbers of those playing youth football are dwindling. Lawsuits are hitting the NCAA, NFL — even the national high school association — from all sides.

The American Football Coaches Association on Monday morning presented Dr. Sandra Chapman as a rebuttal in an ongoing debate that continues to erode the profession’s credibility.

“If you haven’t sensed it,” AFCA executive director Grant Teaff told an audience of about 500 coaches, “our game’s under attack.”

Chapman, then, was part of the counterattack. The founder and chief director of the Center for Brain Health at the University of Texas-Dallas, is a cognitive neuroscientist. Her suggestion to Monday’s group was things aren’t as bad as the national narrative suggests.

“I want to change the conversation that you’re hearing,” she said during a session titled: The Future of Football: A Dose of Reality. “We’re showing a [positive] brain change [after injury], not in months and years but in literally hours.”

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Volney Meece Scholarship goes to Oklahoma youth

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. — Sarah Helsley, a senior at Edmond Santa Fe High School in Edmond, Okla., was named as the 17th winner of the Volney Meece Scholarship.

The scholarship is awarded annually by the Football Writers Association of America and named for the late Volney Meece. Meece served 22 years as the FWAA’s executive director and was the organization’s president in 1971. The announcement came at the FWAA’s annual awards breakfast.

The scholarship is a $1,000 annual grant for four years. It is awarded to a deserving son or daughter of an FWAA member.

The 17-year-old Helsley is the daughter of long-time FWAA member John Helsley of The Oklahoman in Oklahoma City.

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