The Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) has announced its first "Super 11" field of sports information departments, which were deemed the best in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision during the 2009 season. In alphabetical order those 11 schools are: Buffalo, Clemson, East Carolina, Georgia, Nebraska, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, San Jose State, Southern California (USC), Texas and Utah.
Here is a slideshow of the honored schools, and the people behind the scenes. The full FWAA press release follows the slideshow.
FWAA'S SELECTS FIRST 'SUPER 11'
Association applauds top sports information operations
DALLAS (FWAA), March 2, 2010 – The Football Writers Association of America has announced its first "Super 11" field of sports information departments, which were deemed the best in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision during the 2009 season.
In alphabetical order those 11 schools are: Buffalo, Clemson, East Carolina, Georgia, Nebraska, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, San Jose State, Southern California (USC), Texas and Utah.
"There are clearly many outstanding sports information departments across the country," said Tim Griffin, 2010 FWAA President and chairman of the Super 11 Committee. "But our group felt there was a smattering of schools that merited commendation because of their exemplary work above and beyond the call of duty. This is our first collection in what will be an ongoing process."
Since the FWAA's inception in 1941, one of the organization's charges is to provide better working conditions for media across the country. Over the years, the FWAA has given out press box commendations to deserving schools. The FWAA also has conducted ratings of sports information departments.
The FWAA was approached about this project by longtime FWAA member John Humenik, CoSIDA Executive Director, more than a year ago. An FWAA committee was formed to observe and collect data on sports information departments in each of the 11 Division I FBS conferences and independents.
Criteria in determining the winners not only included how press boxes/operations were run, but also the accessibility of players and coaches and the distribution of media materials. The ratings also took into consideration the departments that went the extra mile in servicing the media. The Super 11 committee received input from other FWAA members covering college football during a period from Feb. 1, 2009 through Jan. 31, 2010.
"CoSIDA leadership, of which most are FWAA members, more than a year ago encouraged us to honor the best sports information departments in the country in the Bowl Subdivision in this way," said FWAA Executive Director Steve Richardson. "CoSIDA honors departments on various levels and sports for best publications. I really see this as just another way of saying 'good job' to those who do perform well. As you can tell, there is great diversity in the departments that the committee commended."
In January 2009, at its board meeting in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., the FWAA formed the Super 11 Committee. Every conference and all independents were represented on the committee. This is a standing committee which will remain together for the next two years.
In addition to Griffin, members of the Super 11 Committee are Mark Anderson, Las Vegas Review-Journal; Chadd Cripe, Idaho Statesman; Dennis Dodd, cbssports.com; Herb Gould, Chicago Sun-Times; Mike Griffith, Knoxville News Sentinel; Kate Hairopoulos, The Dallas Morning News; Matt Markey, Toledo Blade; Ted Miller, espn.com; Lenn Robbins, New York Post; Randy Rosetta, Baton Rouge Advocate; Alan Schmadtke, Orlando Sentinel; George Schroeder, Eugene-Register Guard; and Adam Sparks, Murfreesboro Daily News Journal.
The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization founded in 1941, consists of more than 1,200 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 gameday operations, major awards, a national poll and its annual All-America team.