Vol. 49, No. 2 January 2012 .pdf version
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

Joe Mitch

Get your Final Four started with annual USBWA breakfast

By JOE MITCH / Missouri Valley Conference
USBWA Executive Director

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One of the highlights of the NCAA men's Final Four every year is the USBWA's college basketball awards breakfast held on the Friday morning before the national semifinals.

This year's breakfast, scheduled at a site to be determined in downtown New Orleans, site of this year's Final Four, figures to be a sellout, similar to previous events hosted by the USBWA since the awards breakfast was first introduced in 2005.

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Typically, the event has attracted crowds anywhere from 400 to 600 people, depending on the size of the venue.

At the breakfast, the USBWA will present the Oscar Robertson Trophy to the nation's top Division I player and the Henry Iba Award to the national coach of the year.

In addition, the USBWA plans to recognize former LSU coach Dale Brown for his contributions to college basketball. In past years, the USBWA has recognized players and teams from the region where the Final Four is held to help attract interest in the breakfast.

The USBWA honored the Phi Slama Jama University of Houston teams last year and before that Indiana University's two national championship teams and the 1979 Michigan State team on the 30th anniversary of the school's first national championship.

USBWA members are typically featured as presenters of the awards and have included award-winning author John Feinstein, ESPN personality Andy Katz and past presidents Blair Kerkhoff of the Kansas City Star and Rick Bozich of the Louisville Courier-Journal.

A portion of the proceeds from the breakfast benefits the USBWA's scholarship program for students pursuing careers in sports journalism.

In addition, the USBWA makes an annual contribution to the National Kidney Foundation on behalf of Oscar Robertson, who donated a kidney to his daughter, Tia, several years ago.

Tickets for the breakfast are $75 each and will be available on the USBWA website (usbwa.com) in January. Those attending the breakfast will receive a printed program and poster featuring past player and coach of the year award winners and an autographed mini-basketball.

SPORTSWRITING SEMINAR. "Full Court Press," the USBWA's annual sportswriting workshop and scholarship competition that is held in conjunction with the men's Final Four, is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 29, at the Marriott Hotel in downtown New Orleans.

The seminar is being organized by the John Curley Center for Sports Journalism at Penn State University, under the direction of past USBWA president Malcolm Moran, the school's inaugural Knight Chair in Sports Journalism and Society. Moran will serve as moderator of a panel discussion that will feature several USBWA members, including USBWA president Lenox Rawlings.

This is the 12th anniversary of the seminar, which provides opportunities for college and high school students interested in a career in sports journalism to meet leaders in the industry and compete for a $1,000 scholarship.

Students may enter a writing competition for the scholarship in honor of the late Larry Donald, who served two terms as president of the USBWA in 1987 and 1988. Those electing to participate in the writing contest will receive assignments to cover events at the Final Four, including news conferences and practices on the day before the national semifinals. One student will receive a credential to cover the national championship game on Monday, April 2.

The cost to attend the seminar is free. For additional information, contact Moran at mum24@psu.edu.

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