Dick Weiss reinvents himself after layoff

Dick Weiss

Dick Weiss

Former FWAA President Dick Weiss was interviewing Penn State coach Bill O’Brien last May in New York when he got a call from his office at the New York Daily News, informing him that he was being laid off.

But what seemed at the time to be a devastating end to a distinguished career soon proved instead to be merely a reset.

You’ve heard of survival of the fittest? This is survival of the nicest.

To read the Seth Davis’ entire story for SI.com, click here.

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Joe Doyle’s double life

By Eric Hansen/South Bend Tribune

Joe Doyle

Joe Doyle

For years, they talked every Monday over breakfast about almost everything but the thread that pulled them together in the first place, Notre Dame football.

Politics, world geography, family, life – and one day sorting through the news of a plane crash in some far off place.

That’s the first time Notre Dame coaching icon Ara Parseghian got a glimpse of Joe Doyle’s double life.

“It was years into our relationship,” Parseghian said of his longtime friend, who chronicled the College Football Hall-of-Famer’s 11 seasons in South Bend (1964-1974). “And it really came up in passing. But once he mentioned it, I had lots of questions for him, because I found it so fascinating, his double career.”

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Helpful hints: Send us your advice for making the best of stadiums, cities on the road

In this is a section of The Fifth Down we will post information from FWAA members that will help other members to cover games or enrich their experiences, such as good restaurants near stadiums, easy routes to the games or good places to stay in certain cities. It could also include interesting experiences writers have had in certain college towns or sights to see.  Please send your Helpful Hints to Executive Director Steve Richardson at tigerfwaa@gmail.com or Ken Stephens at ken.stephens@sbscglobal.net.

“Super 11” pressbox rankings

The Football Writers Association of America annually names its “Super 11” sports information departments, which are deemed the best in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision.

The 2012 recipients …

The 2012 winners of Super 11 Awards were the following programs: Baylor, Bowing Green, Cincinnati, Georgia, Houston, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oregon State, Vanderbilt, Virginia and Wyoming.

Complete release (May 3, 2013)

The 2011 recipients …

The 2011 winners of Super 11 Awards were the following programs: Auburn, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Michigan State, Northern Illinois, Oklahoma, San Diego State, Southern California (USC), Syracuse, Utah State and Western Kentucky.

Complete release (May 7, 2012)

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FWAA Code of Ethics 1

The FWAA Press Box Statement and Code of Ethics were posted on the wall of the press box at Yankee Stadium during the New Era Pinstripe Bowl on Dec. 28. Photo courtesy of  Phil Marwill of the National Football Foundation.

The FWAA Press Box Statement and Code of Ethics were posted on the wall of the press box at Yankee Stadium during the New Era Pinstripe Bowl on Dec. 28. Photo courtesy of Phil Marwill of the National Football Foundation.

The Football Writers Association of America takes very seriously the conduct of its members involved in the process of news gathering and how they interact with news sources which include, coaches, athletes, administrators and other athletic officials involved in allied fields.

To that end, the FWAA has an Ethics and Press Relations Committee which will review all cases brought before it by news sources in regards to complaints about the actions or conduct of FWAA members in the field.

The FWAA Ethics and Press Relations Committee can make recommendations for membership exclusion of those who do not abide by the standards below or take steps to remediate members who have violated the policy.

FWAA ETHICS POLICY

As adopted from portions of the Society of Professional Journalists Code of Ethics. The FWAA Ethics and Press Relations Committee believes FWAA members who are part of the news media should strive to do the following:

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San Jose Mercury News’ Jon Wilner named FWAA Beat Writer of the Year 1

Jon Wilner San Jose Mercury News

Jon Wilner
San Jose Mercury News

DALLAS — Jon Wilner, a veteran sportswriter for the San Jose Mercury News, has been awarded the 2013 FWAA Beat Writer of the Year Award for his coverage of the Pac-12 Conference and West Coast college sports.

The FWAA’s Beat Reporter of the Year Award is based on a comprehensive look at the way a person covers the beat and encompasses all categories of coverage over a period of time.

Wilner, 46, has worked at the Mercury News since 2000 and has held various reporting roles in the college scene for the newspaper and its website, covering Stanford, Bay Area colleges and Pac-12 beats. Wilner’s highly popular blog, “College Hotline,” receives millions of page views annually.

He has claimed numerous Associated Press Sports Editors awards.  Wilner has had a vote in the Associated Press Top 25 football and basketball polls for more than a decade.

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Comings and goings

Lenn Robbins

Lenn Robbins

Immediate past FWAA president Lenn Robbins of the New York Post has left the newspaper to work for BrookylnNets.com and BarclaysCenter.com. He had worked 16 years for the New York Post. Among his assignments will be the Brooklyn Nets, New York Islanders and championship boxing and college basketball.  “I have accepted the job with the understanding that I will have the independence that I’ve enjoyed to report and to analyze,” Robbins said upon accepting the position. 

David Ubben has moved from espn.com  to foxsports.com. … Danielle Moorman has resigned her post as executive director of the Davey O’Brien Foundation to accept a position as director of marketing and communications at Low T Center. … Olivia Kiespert has moved down the street in Irving, Texas, from the National Football Foundation to Conference USA. … Joe Galbraith, SID at Mississippi State, has accepted the position as Clemson University’s assistant athletics director for communications. … Herb Vincent left his post at LSU as vice chancellor for university relations to take a similar position at the Southeastern Conference. … Randy Riggs of the Austin American-Statesman has announced he is retiring after more than 35 years at the paper. In recent years he has been the paper’s beat writer for the Longhorn football team. Other recent retirements:  Herb Gould, Chicago Sun-Times; Mike Pearson, Miami (Ohio) University; Marc Dellins, UCLA.

Buddy Davis recovering, winning awards

Long-time Ruston (La.) Daily Leader sportswriter and columnist Buddy Davis has been battling health problems in recent months since suffering a stroke on July 5 and has been in and out of Louisiana health facilities, but he is still writing! 

He also is still winning awards. He is one of five individuals who will be inducted into the Louisiana Tech’s Athletic Hall of Fame on Nov. 9.  He also has been recognized as the university’s College of Liberal Arts’ Alumnus of the Year. Davis, a 1969 journalism graduate, has spent nearly 50 years working as a sports writer for the same newspaper.

 

2013 Best Feature, by Adam Lucas

Comment by the judge, Alan Abrahamson: A great feature should be a journey of discovery. This story is just that. It is full of not just connections but a series of incredible moments of revealing truths, each one taking the reader along through the story of one family’s incredible journey to and through the American dream. The cast of characters is rich and diverse. The action pieces are well-told and the back stories riveting. Finally, this piece also serves as compelling evidence that even in a world increasingly turning to bursts of 140 or fewer characters there thankfully remains a place for long-form journalism and the art of the well-told narrative. 

By Adam Lucas

Tar Heel Monthly

Adam Lucas

Adam Lucas

On the most famous play in modern Carolina football history, it looked like Gio Bernard was finally going to be caught by his history.

He’d spent twenty years outrunning it. He’d lived in Haiti with no running water. He’d sat in a tiny bathroom with his brother and father, all three men in tears over the loss of Gio’s mother. He’d shared an apartment in Ft. Lauderdale with rats.
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2013 Best Enterprise, by Matt Hayes

Comment by the judge, Alan Abrahamson: In this era of 24/7, instant-access, always-on journalism, the enterprise story offers something different. It takes us behind the curtain — tells us something we didn’t already know, couldn’t possibly have known without the diligence and the purpose of the reporters’ craft. Often, these stories rely on years of experience or a network of sources. When you finish reading such a story, a complex subject has been made simple or what was once hidden has been revealed. Even when, as was the case with Florida’s championship football team during the Urban Meyer years, it was hiding in plain sight. As the years go by, and the headlines about who was on that team continue to vie for attention, this story may prove to be even all the more illuminating.

By Matt Hayes

Sporting News

Matt Hayes

Matt Hayes

The uproar and controversy of Urban Meyer’s stunning recruiting coup at Ohio State settled in and Stefon Diggs, still on the Buckeyes’ wish list, was debating his future.

Diggs, the second-highest rated wide receiver in the country, had narrowed his list of potential schools to Maryland, Florida and Ohio State. For more than a week following National Signing Day on Feb. 1, and before Diggs eventually signed with Maryland, Meyer relentlessly pursued Diggs.
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