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Vol. 45, No. 2 • February 2008 • .pdf version
Duke honors a legend with 'Bill Brill Media Room'
By JOE MITCH / Executive Director
Bill Brill, one of the true legends in the sportswriting profession – and a charter member of the USBWA Hall of Fame – recently had a media room at his alma mater dedicated to him.
Brill, the first living member of the USBWA to be inducted into the USBWA Hall of Fame in 1990 and USBWA president in 1980-81, was honored in December at Duke University, where the press room at Cameron Indoor Stadium was named the "Bill Brill Media Room."
On hand for the dedication ceremonies were several USBWA members, including past presidents John Feinstein and Jim O'Connell, Tipoff Editor John Akers and yours truly.
Brill has pledged a major financial gift in the form of trust funds to Duke's athletics department.
"This gift to Duke is very important to me because college sports have been such an integral part of my entire adult life," said Brill, who was graduated from Duke in 1952 and is a member of the Duke Sports Hall of Fame.
"The way Duke blends athletics and academics together is unique and is the way I think it should be done. The men's basketball program has been a vital part of Duke's ascent to the national status it holds today and I want to support its continued success.
Much of Brill's career was spent at the Roanoke Times, where Brill worked for 35 years and served as sports editor from 1960-91 before retiring.
Plans are underway for this year's USBWA sportswriting seminars to be held in conjunction with the NCAA men's and women's Final Fours respectively.
Trinity University in San Antonio will serve as site for the seminar at the men's Final Four on Thursday, April 3, and will be co-hosted by the San Antonio Express-News.
The University of South Florida will host the seminar at the women's Final Four in Tampa on Friday, April 4.
The seminars are intended to provide college and high school students interested in pursuing a career in sports journalism to hear from writers and columnists about their experiences and lessons learned while covering sports for a living.
Students who participate in the seminars will be given assignments to cover specific events at each Final Four and then write stories and submit them in a writing contest for a chance to win a $1,000 college scholarship.
Since the USBWA initiated these seminars in 2000, the USBWA has awarded $14,000 in college scholarships.
The USBWA's men's player and coach of the year breakfast held annually at the NCAA Final Four as a fundraiser for the association will be co-hosted this year by the San Antonio Local Organizing Committee on Friday morning, April 4, in downtown San Antonio at a site to be determined.
In addition to presenting awards for the Oscar Robertson Player of the Year and the Henry Iba Coach of the Year, as voted on by USBWA members, the USBWA will honor the organization's Most Courageous Award winner at the Friday breakfast.
The Most Courageous Award has been one of the highlights at the association's other awards breakfast that is held on the morning of the national championship game.
But the Most Courageous Award is being moved to the Friday breakfast to separate and distinguish between the association's two breakfasts – the Friday one to honor players and coaches in basketball and the other on Monday to recognize achievements by USBWA members such as the USBWA Hall of Fame and Katha Quinn Award.
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