Utah State’s Athletic Media Relations Office has been named a "Super 11" sports information department by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), the organization announced on Thursday.
The honor recognizes the best 11 departments in the nation for the 2015 season, and it is the second time USU has received the honor (2011). Over the seven-year period, the FWAA has honored 49 different schools.
The 11 honored departments this year are from the following schools: Clemson (ACC), Houston (American), Kansas State (Big 12), Louisiana-Lafayette (Sun Belt), Indiana (Big Ten), Mississippi State (SEC), Northern Illinois (MAC), Pittsburgh (ACC), Southern California (Pac-12), Western Kentucky (C-USA) and USU.
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 look at this as one of the most important things that we do as an organization, honoring the very best SID staffs in the nation." said Tim Griffin, the FWAA's 2010 President and the Super 11 Committee chairman. "There are many great SID staffs around the country who are willing to work hard to help all media members. These 11 departments we are honoring are consistently exemplary above and beyond the call of duty. We hope this award will help to showcase them."
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, 2015 through Jan. 31, 2016.
"The FWAA takes seriously the relationships between reporters and sports information officials, and these 11 SIDs stand out because of their hard work and professionalism," said 2016 FWAA President Mark Anderson. "The fight for increased access is critical to our FWAA members, so it's especially important to recognize the work by these SIDs who represent their schools and help reporters do their jobs. They are the best of the best and set a high standard for others to achieve."
In January 2009, at its board meeting, the FWAA formed the first Super 11 Committee. The concept is supported 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 men and women across North America who cover college football for a living. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include gameday operations, major awards, a national poll and its annual All-America team.
Utah State football will open the 2016 season on Thursday, Sept. 1, at home against Weber State and will begin Mountain West play on Saturday, Sept. 24, at home against Air Force.
For Aggie football ticket information, fans can contact the USU Athletics Ticket Office over the phone by calling 1-888-USTATE-1 or 435-797-0305 during regular hours of operation. Fans can also buy their tickets in person at the USU Ticket Office inside the Dee Glen Smith Spectrum or online by clicking on the "Buy Tickets" tab at www.UtahStateAggies.com.
Fans can follow the Aggie football program at twitter.com/USUFootball or on Facebook at Utah State Football, as well as on Instagram at instagram.com/USUFootball. Aggie fans can also follow the Utah State athletic program at twitter.com/USUAthletics or on Facebook at Utah State University Athletics.
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