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Vol. 43, No. 1 • November 2005 • .pdf version
Schools, conferences should know how to reach members
By ANDY KATZ / ESPN
The Mountain West scheduling media day on Yom Kippur without thoroughly investigating the date (forget about looking at the majority of calendars) made me think about a centralizing email account for conferences.
We, as an organization, shouldn’t have an issue providing a list of all USBWA e-mail addresses to every conference, which in turn could give it to each school. This could solve myriad problems.
First, any major scheduling issue would go out to our membership and, in turn, solicit any concern about dates. Secondly, and more importantly, on a daily and weekly basis, a master list would allow schools to get their basic information out to the masses.
Too often, colleagues will get an e-mail on an injury, news conference or just an announcement that I might not receive. Sometimes, I get it, and they don’t. The same is true for the NCAA's announcement of news conferences.
We need to have a centralized list for all of these occasions. There’s no reason why a school and conference can’t have a sport-by-sport master list for its news releases. If it’s a basketball-related issue, then the school and conference should attach the USBWA email listing to the file. Obviously, the local writers who might not be members would get the email as well. Then, once it is received, we should decide what to do with the information. Had this type of thing occurred then, the MWC wouldn’t have been able to say that it let some media know about the date. Not everyone was made aware of the date, and when we were, it was too late to affect a change. The MWC did the right thing by admitting its error and writing a letter to the conference member presidents and athletic directors. I’m sure this won’t occur again.
As the season starts, keep thinking about notable people for our end of the season awards, especiallythe Most Courageous and the Katha Quinn Award.
Whether we honor him now or later, I would like to point out a legend in this business who operates with less than most. Lawrence Fan of San Jose State is one of the country's hardest-working SIDs. He’s also one of the greatest characters. (John Akers can attest that there is no one quite like Lawrence and his famous Fan cake.) One of my favorite stories was when I jokingly said to him that he should bring the Fan Cake to the WAC tournament in Las Vegas. When I arrived, UNLV beat writer Steve Carp told me that Lawrence had called in and was bringing his pots and pans and cake mix to his house to whip up a few cakes for the press room. Classic Fan. His car, at last check, had over 300,000 miles on it. That should say something about this man’s dedication and loyalty to serving the media.
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