Vol. 43, No. 1 November 2005 .pdf version
Tony Barnhart: Power of USBWA apparent
Joe Mitch: Celebrating our 50th anniversary
Andy Katz: Schools should know how to reach us
Tom Shatel: A shorter USBWA meeting?
Mike Waters: The press row seating problem
Ted Gangi: Don't lose your mind over memory
No. 1 Duke puts pair on 'Oscar' Watch List
Tom Shatel
Tom Shatel

A shorter USBWA meeting might be better attended

By TOM SHATEL / Omaha World-Herald
tomshatel@cox.net

As your first vice-president, I have no power. Therefore, I hereby promise to do the following:

Look into shortening our annual meeting at the Final Four. No, it has nothing to do with tee times, although that's not a bad idea.

The annual USBWA meeting is our family reunion. They're terrific. But last year's meeting ran a bit long. We lost nearly half the room to the Basketball Hall of Fame press conference, which announces its class at a room adjacent to our meeting each year.

What to lose? That's a toughie. Our Most Courageous Award and our own USBWA Hall of Fame are untouchable. Those are the highlights. Last year, we had a guest speaker, former Oklahoma A&M star Bob Kurland, as I recall. It's interesting to hear the old stories. But I believe this is one area we could cut out. The longer we go, the more it hurts attendance for our business meeting. By the time I get to be president, it might just be me and Joe Mitch.

Tom: "Well, Joe, do you have anything?"

Joe: "No, Tom, I' m good."

Tom: "Well, we' re adjourned. Let' s go grab our clubs."

Have a USBWA golf outing at the Final Four. We could do it Monday afternoon, a light play day for most golf courses.

Increase enrollment in USBWA by offering a golf play day at the Final Four. At Indy, we play Crooked Stick. At Atlanta, Augusta National.

I think the latter might spark a little interest in USBWA. Now, all we need is an Augusta National member to join USBWA. Hmmm. Do you think Hootie Johnson can type?

Move all press rows to the floor. If that's not possible, then build the press rows in the stands close to stairwells and easy access to the press room, locker rooms, etc. And make all press areas in the stands wireless-friendly.

Start a discussion about whether to target our broadcast brethren in our membership drive. TV and radio guys have needs, too. So, for that matter, do photographers, who share our press space. Should we represent them? Would we be stronger as a group when going to the NCAA, especially if we had ESPN or CBS types as members? Food for thought.

Work with ESPN and CBS to get starting times that are reasonable (hint: before the 11 p.m. ET SportsCenter).

Work with APSE to get later deadlines.

Get the NCAA to pick up the tab for all wireless at their events. Eventually, make all arenas in college basketball wireless friendly (and free).

Have a USBWA seminar to teach the old-schoolers (like me) how to use wireless and ethernet.

Anyone need a telecopier? It's used but in good shape.

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