FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (FWAA) – The New York Daily News'
Dick Weiss is the 40th winner of the Bert McGrane Award that is annually bestowed on a member of the
Football Writers Association of America. Combining a keen sense of reporting and an excellent writing style, Weiss has covered college football with purpose and integrity for 30 years.
The McGrane Award, symbolic of the association's Hall of Fame, is presented to an FWAA member who has performed great service to the organization and/or the writing profession. It is named after McGrane, a Des Moines, Iowa, writer who was the executive secretary of the FWAA from the early 1940s until 1973.
Weiss' name will be placed on a plaque that includes the names of the preceding 39 winners. It eventually will hang in the new College Football Hall of Fame when it opens in Atlanta.
"Dick Weiss has always had a passion for college football, although his nickname of 'Hoops' belies that fact," said FWAA Executive Director Steve Richardson. "He has strived and succeeded in giving his readership the best stories in college football for a number of years as he relentlessly has traveled all over the country to report on those teams and players.
"Furthermore, Dick has always had a great concern for the profession," Richardson added. "Many times Dick has pushed for better working conditions for writers behind the scenes and worked within the system to achieve that agenda. A worry-wart, Dick has always had the writers' best interests at heart."
Weiss, a longtime FWAA member, served as president of the FWAA in 2004 and even then was crusading for the traditional media guide to remain. He is the first person from a New York-based news organization to win the Bert McGrane Award since Tom Cohane (Look Magazine) in 1987, the only other New York-based winner.
"I feel humbled and honored to receive this award from the Football Writers Association," Weiss said. "So many of the past recipients – Furman Bisher of the Atlanta Constitution, Paul Zimmerman of the Los Angeles Times, Edwin Pope of the Miami Herald, Blackie Sherrod of The Dallas Morning News, Maury White of the Des Moines Register and Dick Herbert of the Raleigh News & Observer – were giants in our profession who gave college football a bigger than life feeling with their writing every Saturday afternoon in the fall. They made us want to read the Sunday papers.
"Recent recipients like Steve Richardson, Mark Blaudschun, Tony Barnhart and Dave Sittler have carried on the same tradition," Weiss added. "I am pleased to be in their company."
Weiss has covered college sports for the New York Daily News since 1993 and before that held a similar post for about 10 years at the Philadelphia Daily News. He graduated from Temple in 1969 and then worked at the Baltimore Sun and the Trenton Times before moving to the Philadelphia Daily News. He has covered 40 NCAA Final Fours and tonight will be his 28th national championship college football game.
Weiss has been the recipient of the Curt Gowdy Print Media Award and the Jim Murray Outstanding Sportswriter Award, the latter given by the All-American Football Foundation. Last October, Weiss captured the Lew Klein Alumni in the Media Award at Temple University. The award is given to distinguished Temple alumni who have made outstanding contributions in the media.
Weiss is a past president of the U.S. Basketball Writers Association (1993-94) and also became a member of that organization's Hall of Fame in 1997. For his latest award, Weiss is expected to be honored this summer at the Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festivities in Atlanta.
Dick and his lovely wife, Joan Williamson, reside in Havertown, Pa.
The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization
founded in 1941, consists of more than 1,200 men and women 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 and its annual All-America
team. For more information about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve
Richardson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 972-713-6198.
• Bert McGrane Award