The Fifth Down

Lodge notes

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RETIREMENTS: Mike DeArmond (Kansas City Star) left the paper, retiring in February 2012 after 40 years on the job at the same newspaper. How is that for longevity? In addition to covering University of Missouri sports the last two decades, DeArmond also covered eight Olympic Games, chronicled George Brett’s chase for .400 in 1980 and worked as an assistant sports editor and assistant city editor for the newspaper.

Natalie Meisler retired from the Denver Post in November 2011. Natalie spent most of her writing career at the newspaper (since 1977) after graduating from Colorado in 1973. She is a former member of the FWAA Board and covered college sports (Colorado and Colorado State) and bicycle races for much of her 34-plus years at the newspaper.

In this issue of The Fifth Down:
• Robbins: A playoff for the elite
• Richardson: A valuable resource
• Lodge Notes
• FWAA, Armed Forces Bowl create Merit Award
• Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List
• Outland Trophy Watch List

Dave Sittler, an FWAA past president (2001) and Bert McGrane winner (2012) retired from his full-time job this past winter as columnist at the Tulsa World. He was named the winner of the McGrane Award in January and will be honored on July 21 in South Bend, Ind., at the College Football Hall of Fame. A story on Dave appears on Page 2 of this issue of The Fifth Down.

CHANGING JOBS: Pat Forde has left to join Yahoo! Sports. ... Shelly Poe left Ohio State to become Assistant AD for Football Communications at Auburn University. ... Ben Blevins left the sports information office at Duke to join the one at the University of Texas. ... Joe Hornstein, formerly the sports information director at Central Florida, now holds a similar position at Florida International University. ... Jack Bogaczyk has left the Charleston Daily Mail and has become Director of Publications and Editor of the Herd Insider at Marshall University. ... Austin Ward resigned from the Knoxville News Sentinel to join and cover Ohio State. ... Steve Wieberg has left USA Today and will go into the educational field. Steve has been the pillar of the paper’s college coverage since it first began in the early 1980s and one of the most respected journalists in the country. ... Columnists Rick Bozich and Eric Crawford have resigned from the Louisville Courier-Journal and are now at Louisville Fox affiliate WDRB-41. ... Andy Seeley has moved from Minnesota to Central Florida as assistant athletics director for communications.

HAPPENINGS: At the annual CoSIDA Convention in St. Louis in late June, the FWAA was a supporting sponsor. Several FWAA members were on panels during the four-day convention. ... Tim Griffin of the San Antonio Express-News is back on the college beat covering several Big 12 schools.

HONORS: FWAA member Stephen Nesbitt, a University of Michigan student, has been named this year's recipient of the Big Ten Conference William R. Reed Memorial Award. The conference annually honors a student journalist from one of the Big Ten campuses who, through his or her coverage during the previous academic term, best exemplifies the spirit, ideals and dedication to the Big Ten and intercollegiate athletics, which marked the life of Commissioner William R. Reed. Nesbitt, an English major who just completed his junior year, is the managing sports editor for the Michigan Daily.

DEATHS: Longtime Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Furman Bisher passed away on March 18, 2012, after a heart attack. Bisher had been a member of the FWAA for 62 years and was a past president of the organization (1959) and a Bert McGrane Award winner (1982). He was 93. Until recent years he had still been writing a column for the newspaper and had been a fixture at The Masters, Kentucky Derby and Georgia-Georgia Tech football games for more than 50 years. ... Arnie Burdick, 92, an FWAA past president (1966), passed away on June 5, 2012. He was a former SID for Syracuse and later worked at the Syracuse Herald-Journal, where he was sports editor and columnist for 28 years. In 1986, he became the media director for the Heritage Golf Tournament in Hilton Head, S.C., and later retired there. He worked his 29th Heritage this past spring.

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