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Vol. 49, No. 1 • November 2011 • .pdf version
It's time to start thinking about this year's awards nominees
By JOE MITCH / Missouri Valley Conference
With the start of another season, it's also time to begin thinking about candidates for the USBWA's annual awards program.
Members are encouraged to submit names of individuals to be honored by the association at the USBWA's awards breakfast in April in New Orleans, site of this year's NCAA Final Four.
Here's a refresher course of the various awards presented by the USBWA:
HALL OF FAME: There have been 59 inductees in the USBWA Hall of Fame since it was created in 1988 to honor members – past and present – for lifetime achievement and contributions to the USBWA. Individuals who have been enshrined regard the Hall of Fame to be the highest honor bestowed on a member.
To be eligible, candidates must have a minimum of 20 years of service as either a sportswriter or individual associated with the USBWA.
Last year's honorees were Bill Connors, Tulsa World, posthumously; Mickey Furfari, Morgantown Dominion Post; and Art Spander, San Francisco Examiner.
A select committee comprised of Hall of Fame members and others associated with the organization reviews candidates for the Hall of Fame and vote on those to be inducted.
KATHA QUINN AWARD: This award is presented in memory of the former St. John's sports information director who passed away in 1989 of cancer following a courageous battle with the disease. The award recognizes members who either excel at servicing the media or provide an inspiration to those in the profession.
In Katha's case, she did both.
Sports information directors have primarily been recipients of the award. Past SID winners include Oliver Pierce of Gonzaga last year; Roger Valdiserri, Notre Dame; Skeeter Francis, ACC; Rick Brewer, North Carolina; Al Shrier, Temple; Bill Hancock, Big Eight; Tim Tolokan, Connecticut; Mike Tranghese, Providence and the Big East; Jack Watkins, Missouri Valley Conference; Jim Marchiony, NCAA; Steve Kirschner, North Carolina; John Paquette, Big East; and Chris Fallon, NIT.
Former USBWA presidents and Hall of Fame members Malcolm Moran (Penn State) and Jim O'Connell (Associated Press) oversee the selection process for the USBWA, working in conjunction with USBWA second vice president Kirk Wessler of the Peoria Journal-Star.
MOST COURAGEOUS AWARD: This is the USBWA's oldest award, having first been presented in 1978.
It is given to individuals in college basketball – players, coaches, administrators and officials – who have demonstrated extraordinary courage in life dealing with tragedies or hardships.
For the past two years, the USBWA has been presenting Most Courageous awards in both men's and women's basketball.
Last year's recipients were Rice University forward Arsalan Kazemi, the nation's first Iranian-born NCAA Division I basketball player, and Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir, a Memphis guard who is believed to be the first Muslim women to play Division I basketball with her arms, legs and hair covered during games in accordance with her faith.
Nominations for the most courageous award are to be submitted to USBWA third vice president Dana O'Neil (ESPN.com) at email@example.com.
RISING STAR AWARD: This is the USBWA's newest award, an idea first presented to the board a couple of years ago by now first vice president John Akers of Basketball Times.
The award recognizes journalistic excellence by members who are under 30 years of age. Last year's recipient was Kevin Armstrong of the New York Daily News.
Please submit nominations to Akers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
USBWA SCHOLARSHIP: Applications are now being accepted for one $2,000 USBWA scholarship to be presented in January to the son or daughter of a USBWA member planning to attend college in the fall of 2012 or are currently enrolled in college.
Individuals applying must demonstrate outstanding achievement in scholarship and citizenship.
For an application, go to the USBWA's website at usbwa.com.
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