The Fifth Down

Lodge Notes

Personnel Moves

Tony Barnhart, who has worked full-time at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for nearly a quarter of a century, took a buyout and left his full-time position with the AJC at the end of September. He will continue to write his very popular AJC blog, Mr. College Football, as well as freelance for other entities, including CBS.

"A number of you have written very kind notes about the upcoming change in my working relationship with the AJC," wrote Barnhart in his blog in September. "That change will still take place in late September. But I want you to know that we've come to an agreement to continue the Mr. College Football blog through the 2008 season. That's a tribute to you. Together we have built this blog into something that is really fun and (hopefully) very readable. I'm excited about this new development and appreciative for the opportunity to continue Mr. CFB for one more season. Thanks again for all your support."

In this issue of The Fifth Down:
President's column: Job cuts and other nightmares
FWAA Awards Q&A
2008 All-America Committee
Lodge Notes has beefed up its blogging staff with the recent hires of several writers from major papers: Tim Griffin, FWAA's 2008 second vice-president, has moved from the San Antonio Express-News; Ted Miller (Seattle Post-Intelligencer) has relocated to Scottsdale, Ariz., and joined ESPN; Heather Dinich (Baltimore Sun) and Graham Watson (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) have moved from those papers to the Disney giant.

Wendell Barnhouse, long-time writer for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, has left the paper and is now a freelancer. One of his gigs is blogging and television for the Big 12 Conference. ... Chip Brown, who had covered Texas for The Dallas Morning News for several years, is now working for Yahoo!/Rivals, but still living in Austin, reporting on the Longhorns and also doing radio and television. ... FWAA member Brian Davis, a former college writer for The Dallas Morning News, is now covering the Dallas Cowboys. .... Former FWAA member Chip Scoggins, who works for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, has moved from the University of Minnesota beat to the Vikings. ... Tom Dienhart has switched jobs, moving from The Sporting News, to Yahoo!/Rivals. But Dienhart still lives in the St. Louis area. ... Robyn Norwood has left the Los Angeles Times and is freelancer based in the same area. ... Howard Richman has left the Kansas City Star and has left the field. Ditto for Randy Holtz (formerly of the Rocky Mountain News), who is still in the Denver area. ... Leigh Torbin has left Connecticut for Central Florida. ... John Sudsbury has left his SID role as California and is the new media director at the Allstate Sugar Bowl. ... SID Brian Fremund has left Western Kentucky for similar job at South Alabama. ... Gregg Ellis has taken a new SID job at Mississippi State. ... Jeff Miller (formerly of The Dallas Morning News) is now a Dallas-based freelancer. ... Jim Merriott has moved from the state of Kansas to the state of Texas. Retiring: Rod Commons (Washington State), John Pruett (Huntsville Times, Ala.), Earl Gault (The Herald, S.C) and Dave Campbell (Waco Tribune Herald).

FWAA Award Winners

Claude Felton received the Bert McGrane Award during the National Football Foundation's Enshrinement Banquet on July 19 in South Bend, Ind. Immediate past FWAA president Mike Griffith made the presentation to the University of Georgia sports information director, who is a long-time FWAA member and one of the tops in his profession. Felton's name is added to the Bert McGrane plaque (listing all the winners since the award's inception in 1974) in the rotunda of the College Football Hall of Fame. In the press box display at the College Football Hall of Fame, Felton's bio and picture have been featured. The Bert McGrane Award's annual winner, announced in early January at the FWAA's Awards Breakfast, will be featured in the Press Box display annually.

Three more FWAA members have joined the 50-plus club of membership: Bill Brill, Ted Nance, Brad Pye. In order to qualify for the award, a person must have been an FWAA member for 50 years. They will all three receive 50-year pins.

Illinois linebacker J Leman, who was a 2007 FWAA All-American, was recognized as one of the Big Ten Conference's 22 Outstanding Sportsmanship Award winners for the 2007-08 academic year. ... FWAA member Rick Gosselin of The Dallas Morning News has claimed the Fred Russell Award as presented by the American Football Foundation. The late Russell, a former FWAA president (1965) and Bert McGrane Award winner (1981), was one of the giants of the profession at the Nashville Banner.

Edwin Pope of the Miami Herald, the 2001 Bert McGrane winner, has been named the inaugural winner of the Vanguard Media Award, which was created by the Orange Bowl Committee to honor a member of the media who has made an impact on the Orange Bowl or the South Florida community. The award has also been re-named in his honor.

Northern Illinois has renamed its football press box in honor of the late Bud Nangle, a former SID and newspaper man, and his wife Joyce. Nangle was an FWAA member from 1959 until his death in 2006 at the age of 87. He is generally credited with greatly helping NIU make the move to major-college football when he worked there.

Mary Garber, an FWAA member since 1965, has been inducted into the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame. Garber, 92, was a pioneer for women in sports writing for the Winston- Salem Journal.

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