Vol. 46, No. 1 November 2008 .pdf version
Dick Jerardi: USBWA has much to offer
Joe Mitch: Election Days coming up for USBWA
Steve Carp: Invite your local college-paper writer
Mel Greenberg: Womens coverage feeling the brunt
Lenox Rawlings: Cramped and courtside works
Ted Gangi: Better manage your e-mail

Joe Mitch

Election Days coming up for USBWA, too

By JOE MITCH / Executive Director

In this election year, it's time to nominate individuals for the U.S. Basketball Writers Association's annual awards.

These awards recognize members for their service and contributions to the organization and others who reflect honor on college basketball.

If you have a person you wish to nominate for the awards listed below, we encourage you to do so before the end of the year. Please send your nominations to either me (mitch@usbwa.com) or USBWA President Dick Jerardi (jerardd@phillynews.com).

Here's the list of USBWA awards:

HALL OF FAME: Established in 1988, the USBWA Hall of Fame honors past and present members who are recognized for their achievements in sports writing and contributions to the organization.

To be eligible for consideration, individuals must have 20 years of service in the profession.

Since its inception, 50 people have been inducted into the USBWA Hall of Fame. Last year's inductee was Steve Wieberg, a past USBWA president (1996-97) and a sports writer for USA Today since 1982.

KATHA QUINN AWARD: This is the organization's primary service award, given in memory of Katha Quinn, the late sports information director at St. John's University who died of cancer in 1990.

The award honors individuals for their service and contributions to the USBWA, especially those who have excelled at servicing the media and, like Katha, are an inspiration to those in the sports journalism profession.

The award is presented each year by past presidents Malcolm Moran and Jim O'Connell, who were particularly close to Katha and established an award that would carry on the memory of a friend to writers everywhere.

Last year the USBWA had for the first time co-winners for the award, ESPN media relations vice presidents Mike Soltys and Josh Krulewitz.

Past recipients include sports information directors Tim Tolokan of UConn, Roger Valdiserri of Notre Dame; and Rick Brewer and Steve Kirschner of North Carolina; former NCAA media coordinators Jim Marchiony and Bill Hancock; Washington Post sports writer Mark Asher; and former PR men-turned-commissioners, Wayne Duke (Big Eight and Big Ten) and Mike Tranghese (Big East).

MOST COURAGEOUS: Since 1978, the USBWA has honored individuals who wage courageous battles in the face of adversity and personal hardships.

Last year's recipient was LSU-Shreveport player Josh Porter, who was considered a walking miracle after returning to play for the Pilots following a life-threatening neck injury sustained in a game the previous season.

Porter fractured the vertebrae in his neck in a collision with a teammate during a game and fell so hard that the plastic facemask he wore to protest a broken nose shot across the floor upon impact. Porter required life-saving surgery to fuse the vertebrae in his neck. Only later did Porter learn how terribly close he came to becoming a quadriplegic and possibly dying. Doctors said later that less than one percent of those who sustain injuries similar to Josh's ever regain movement or even live.

Other Most Courageous Award winners in the past include Tennessee Tech coach Mike Sutton, who continues to coach while battling paralyzing effects of Guillain-Barre Syndrome; Trey Schwab, the former Marquette assistant who had a double-lung transplant; the Oklahoma State program following the plane crash that killed 10 members of the team; and former Tulsa and Arkansas coach Nolan Richardson for dealing with racial prejudice in his life and the death of his daughter from leukemia.

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