Vol. 49, No. 2 January 2012 .pdf version
INSIDE THIS ISSUE ...
Lenox Rawlings: History will keep taking twists and turns
Joe Mitch: Start your Final Four with USBWA breakfast
Cushman, DeCourcy, Finney form Hall of Fame class
Shining moments found in glare of Penn State negativity
Winn snares another first, second in best writing contest
Complete writing contest results

Cushman, DeCourcy, Finney form USBWA's next Hall of Fame class

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Former San Diego Union-Tribune sports editor and columnist Tom Cushman, Sporting News columnist Mike DeCourcy and longtime New Orleans Times-Picayune sports columnist Peter Finney will be inducted into the Hall of Fame during the Final Four weekend in New Orleans.

Reminders:
2011 Best Writing Contest winners
Invite a colleague to join the USBWA
Nominate a deserving award candidate

Finney will be honored in the city where he has worked for more than 65 years.

Finney, who at 84 continues to write columns for the Times-Picayune, began covering high school sports for the New Orleans States in 1945 after graduating from high school. He earned a bachelor's degree from Loyola in 1949 and a master's in journalism from LSU in 1957. Just a year later, he was writing three columns a week and covering college sports for the States-Item. That number increased to five columns when the States-Item merged with the Times-Picayune. "Pistol Pete" is among the three books he has written.

Finney also was honored last year by the Pro Football Writers of America with its highest honor, the Dick McCann Memorial Award.

Cushman attended 30 Final Fours during a career that began at the Colorado Springs Gazette in 1959 and took him to the Philadelphia Daily News for 15 years and to the San Diego Union-Tribune from 1982-2001.

Cushman also covered 25 Super Bowls, 23 World Series, 22 Masters tournaments, 21 U.S. Open golf tournaments, 11 Olympic Games and noteworthy athletic events on every continent but Antarctica.

According to a story in the Gazette, Cushman developed a friendship with Bob Knight while covering the 1981 Final Four that was won by Indiana. Yet, Knight became upset with Cushman for criticizing him in a column after Knight had stuffed a drunken LSU fan in a garbage can. Knight responded with an 11-page letter to Cushman.

"That's one of the best letters I've ever received," Cushman said. "It contains every bit of Knight's coaching philosophy. I think that might be important stuff."

He is retired and living in Colorado Springs with his wife, usually returning each winter to San Diego.

DeCourcy, who will be attending his 24th Final Four this season, has spent the past 11 years as the college basketball columnist for the Sporting News in a career that began at the Pittsburgh Press (1983-93), the Memphis Commercial-Appeal (1993-97) and the Cincinnati Enquirer (1997-2000).

He also is in his second season with the Big Ten Network as an occasional studio analyst and as a regular panelist on a weekly in-season show called Big Ten Basketball & Beyond with Jimmy Jackson and Dave Revsine. DeCourcy is also a frequent guest on radio talk shows across America.

"I celebrated my 28th wedding anniversary in October," DeCourcy said. "No doubt my biggest achievement of all."

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