Athletics News

Owls Honored by Football Writers

May 4, 2015 DALLAS (FWAA) -- The Football Writers Association of America has selected the Rice Athletics Communications staff as one of the members of its sixth "Super 11″ group of sports information departments deemed the best in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision for the 2014 season.

In addition to Rice, staffs from Auburn (SEC), Bowling Green (Mid-American Conference), Colorado (Pac-12), East Carolina (American Athletic Conference), Iowa State (Big 12), Nebraska (Big Ten), Pittsburgh (ACC), Rutgers (Big Ten), UNLV (Mountain West) and USC (Pac-12) were honored.

USC is a five-time winner of the award and Auburn, Bowling Green, Colorado, East Carolina, Nebraska, Pittsburgh and Rutgers are multiple winners. The committee honored Rutgers because of the exceptional work of former football Sports Information Director Jason Baum, who consistently provided exemplary service when he worked with the school's athletic department.

New winners of the award are Iowa State, Rice and UNLV. Over the six-year period, the FWAA has honored 45 different schools.

"I am thrilled to have the hard work of our staff (Charles Cochrum, John Sullivan, Kenny Bybee and Louie Loya) acknowledged in this way," said Chuck Pool, Rice Assistant AD for Athletics Communications. "Each of us knows how fortunate we are to work with head coach David Bailiff, who supports and appreciates our efforts with the media. In addition, this kind of honor is only possible because of the contributions of so many members of our game day staff and others who volunteer time and energy to assist us each home football game."

Since the FWAA's inception in 1941, one of the organization's primary tasks has been to provide better working conditions for writers across the nation. Over the years, the FWAA has awarded press box commendations to deserving schools, as well as conduct ratings of sports information departments.

"We are cognizant there are many outstanding sports information departments across college football," said Tim Griffin, the FWAA's 2010 President and the Super 11 Committee chairman. "But as an organization, we've always felt it is important to honor the best of the best.

"These 11 departments have been consistently outstanding above and beyond the call of duty. It remains our commitment to continue to honor those departments who understand the demands of our jobs and strive to do what they can to help us on a consistent basis."

Criteria employed in determining the winners not only included how press boxes and media operations were operated, but also the quality and timeliness of information provided. Also judged was the amount of information presented and appropriately updated on websites, and personal responsiveness to media inquiries as well as the accessibility of a program's players, coaches and assistant coaches. The ratings also considered those departments that went the extra mile in servicing the media.

The Super 11 Committee received input from other FWAA members and others who covered college football during a period from Feb. 1, 2014 through Jan. 31, 2015.

"Our Super 11 awards are serious business," said 2015 FWAA President Lee Barfknecht. "The FWAA never takes for granted the relationship between the sports information departments and our working members. At a time when that relationship at some places has become tense or fractured, we proudly salute the men and women at our winning schools who professionally handle the back-and-forth needed for all of us to do our jobs well."

In January 2009, the FWAA formed the first Super 11 Committee. The concept has been supported and endorsed by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), many of whom are members of the FWAA.

The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization founded in 1941, consists of more than 1,300 media members across North America who cover college football. The membership also includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include game-day operations, major awards, a weekly poll and its annual All-America team.

For more information on the Super 11, contact Tim Griffin (210-823-3666, or visit the association's official website,



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