DALLAS (FWAA) – The Football Writers Association
of America is establishing a new Access/Press Relations Committee
to oversee press relations with FBS Conferences moving into the
2019 football season.
This is a broad-based effort by the FWAA to improve press relations
and accessibility with schools in terms of coach, assistant coach
and player availability during the regular season and the off-season.
"We are excited to bring together a talented, experienced, and
diverse group of reporters and SIDs to work together to ensure a
healthier dialogue between the media and the schools that they cover,"
said Matt Fortuna, 2019 FWAA President. "Our hope is that this collaborative
effort will lead to better opportunities to tell the stories of
the subjects that we cover, while giving our members a better platform
to highlight good and bad practices when it comes to access."
The FWAA will have two representatives for each of the Power
Five Conferences, in which many of the issues arise in terms of
accessibility. The Group of Five Conferences/Independents will have
three representatives. In addition, there will be nine at-large
committee members from different groups affiliated with college
The process would be for individual FWAA members to report to
the representatives of their conference any issues in their league
as brought up by Sports Information Directors or FWAA members. This
process will also occur with bowl games. The Committee would attempt
to keep a running record of incidents reported to them and try to
improve conditions as well as commend outstanding access and conditions.
In many ways this can also be a learning experience on both
sides, said Steve Richardson, FWAA Executive Director. We can
document thoroughly why a school would or wouldn't be a Super 11
winner simply by comparing a school's list of press availability
or polices to the FWAA's list of standards. If there are complaints
about media members, these also will be considered by the Committee.
It can be a two-way street here.
The discussions will also extend to game-day: press box conditions,
interview area conditions, press parking issues and safety concerns
around and in the stadium. The committee could have running dialogues
with schools where problems in access occur and coverage conditions
This committee will help in the decision making for the FWAA's
annual Super 11 Awards, which honor outstanding Sports Information
Departments each year. Committee members will be encouraged to interact
with Sports Information Directors in their respective conferences
during the course of the year.
FWAA ACCESS/PRESS RELATIONS COMMITTEE
- ACC: Gene Wang, Washington Post; Andrea
- Big 12: Randy Peterson, Des Moines Register;
John Hoover, TheFranchiseOK.com
- Big Ten: Adam Rittenberg, ESPN.com; Shannon
Ryan, Chicago Tribune
- Pac-12: Jon Wilner, San Jose Mercury News;
Chris Dufresne, TMG
- SEC: Ron Higgins, Rivals; Anthony Dasher,
- Group of Five/Independents: Chris Vannini,
The Athletic; Dick Weiss, Blue Star Media; Mark Anderson, Las
- At-Large: Edward Aschoff, ESPN.com, FWAA;
Matt Fortuna, The Athletic, FWAA; George Schroeder, USA Today,
FWAA; Doug Vance, CoSIDA; Shelly Poe, Auburn; Dave Plati, Colorado;
Vince Thompson, AFCA; Gine Lehe, CFP; Doug Kelly, FBA
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. 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 game day 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 call 214-870-6516.