Vol. 52, No. 1 • November 2014 • .pdf version
Dana O'Neil: Being all a-Twitter has its perks
Joe Mitch: Spread the word about USBWA benefits
Credentialing Task Force makes recommendations
Kentucky, UConn are preseason favorites
Miller wins USBWA scholarship
Best Writing Contest winners announced

Joe Mitch

Spread the word about USBWA's many benefits

USBWA Executive Director

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If you haven't done so before now, spread the good word about the USBWA to your colleagues and friends in the media who are not already members and encourage them to join before the end of the year.

Be sure to tell them also about the many benefits members receive.

As a USBWA member, you are receiving this issue of the Tipoff as part of the USBWA's annual membership benefits program.

More from the USBWA:
Best Writing Contest winners
2014-15 USBWA officers

It's one of four Tipoff newsletters that you will receive during the college basketball season. Tipoff will keep you informed with lodge notes about the latest association news and columns by USBWA officers and board members on current issues impacting writers.

In addition to Tipoff, you'll receive a complimentary seven-month subscription to Basketball Times. Each issue of Basketball Times includes columns by some of the nation's top sportswriters.

The USBWA's annual membership directory is scheduled to arrive in your mailbox in mid-November. This year's directory has been redesigned to provide greater readability. It is considered by many to be worth the cost of membership alone.

The directory features the contact information of members and the primary basketball contacts at every Division I school and the beat writers, columnists and broadcasters who cover each team.

It is a "must-have" directory for every sports information director and writer in college basketball.

The directory is also available online at usbwa.com. It's always updated with the latest contact information. Simply click on MEMBER CENTER at the top of the USBWA home page and use your personal online passcode to access the directory.

There's more. USBWA members receive up to a 20 percent discount on rooms at Hilton Hotels, a 10 percent discount on car rentals at Hertz and a 15 percent savings on merchandise at Brooks Brothers' clothiers. Fly American Airlines and receive selected discounts for air travel to major events and meetings.

For full details about each discount program, go to the USBWA website at usbwa.com.

Members are also eligible to vote for players on the USBWA's All-District and All-America teams as well as player, coach and freshman of the year in both men's and women's basketball.

Finally, members can enter the USBWA's best writing contest for plaques and cash prizes.

To join the USBWA, go to sportswriters.net/membership. Dues are $50 and $25 for retirees, students and recent grads.

CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTIONS: The USBWA makes financial contributions to specific charities designated by recipients of the USBWA's Most Courageous awards for men and women. On the men's side, USBWA donations were made on behalf of Penn senior guard Dau Jok to the Dau Jok Foundation to help educate children of Sudan through sports and to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network on behalf of Akron athletics administrator Dan Peters, who is suffering from pancreatic cancer.

On the women's side, a contribution was made to the Sports Outreach Institute in Lynchburg, Va., for mission trips to Africa on behalf of women's Most Courageous winner and Westmont (Calif.) College women's coach Kirsten Moore. Moore had to deal with the death of her husband just a few weeks before giving birth to a baby girl. Despite the tragedy, she led her team to the 2012 NAIA national championship.

The USBWA also makes a donation each year on behalf of basketball legend Oscar Robertson to the national kidney foundation. The USBWA's men's player of the year trophy is named after Oscar, who donated a kidney to his daughter.

Nominations being taken for USBWA awards

Nominations are now being accepted for the following USBWA awards to be presented next April.

HALL OF FAME: Established in 1988, the USBWA honors past and current members for their contributions to the organization and for their achievements in sports journalism. To be eligible, an individual must have a minimum of 20 years experience as a sports writer or college athletics administrator dealing with basketball. Send nominations to USBWA Executive Director Joe Mitch at mitch@usbwa.com.

KATHA QUINN AND MARY JO HAVERBECK: Both awards recognize individuals in men’s and women’s basketball for their service to the media and for the inspiration they provide to those in the sports journalism profession. The awards are presented in honor of two former sports information directors who have passed away -- Quinn (St.John’s) in 1988 and Haverbeck (Penn State) last January. Send nominations for the Quinn Award in men’s basketball to past president Malcolm Moran at moranma@indiana.edu and to Mel Greenberg at poll@att.net for the Haverbeck Award in women’s basketball.

MOST COURAGEOUS: The USBWA presents a male and female award, honoring a player, coach, official or administrator who demonstrates extraordinary courage while facing adversity in life. First presented in 1978, it is the USBWA’s oldest award. Send nominations to Ed Graney, USBWA third vice president, at egraney@reviewjournal.com.

RISING STAR: The USBWA honors a member who is under 30 and shows outstanding promise as a journalist covering college basketball. Send nominations to John Akers, Tipoff editor, at johna19081@gmail.com.

Lodge Notes: Mitch named to Missouri Valley's Hall

USBWA executive director Joe Mitch will be inducted into the Missouri Valley Conference's Hall of Fame for Lifetime Achievement. Mitch was an associate commissioner for most of his 27 years with the Valley.

Jim O'Connell of the Associated Press underwent heart and foot surgeries on the same day in early September. Lead columnist Gregg Doyel is moving from CBSSports.com to the Indianapols Star. ... Jeff Borzello is moving from CBSSports.com to ESPN.com. ... Chuck Culpepper joined the Washington Post as a national college football writer. … Fox Sports hired Stewart Mandel of Sports Illustrated to cover college football and basketball ... Dustin Dopirak, a former college beat writer for the Bloomington (Ind.) Herald-Times, joined the Knoxville News-Sentinel as the beat writer of the Tennessee football program.

Oliver Pierce, a past winner of the USBWA's Katha Quinn Award, retired following 25 years as sports information director at Gonzaga. … Bob Vazquez retired following 37 years as an SID at UC Santa Barbara, Stanford and Cal State Northridge. … Sam Goldman, a fixture at Bay Area games, died on June 17. He was the first SID for what became the West Coast Conference, as well as San Francisco State and Skyline College, and volunteered at hundreds of games following his retirement in 1989. He was 87.

John Adams and Gary Johnson announced their retirements from the NCAA. Adams, the NCAA supervisor of basketball officials, will retire following the Final Four. Johnson worked in NCAA statistics for 30 years.

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