May 13, 2014
DALLAS - The SMU athletics public relations office was one of 11 honored nationally by the Football Writers Association of America with the naming of the "Super 11" for excellence in sports information during the 2013 season. The "Super 11" is handed out to departments which were deemed the best in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision.
Along with the Mustangs, Colorado (Pac-12), Duke (ACC), Fresno State (Mountain West), Georgia (SEC), Middle Tennessee (Conference USA), Nebraska (Big Ten), Ole Miss (SEC), South Alabama (Sun Belt), Southern California (Pac-12) and Texas Tech (Big 12) were named to the FWAA’s fifth “Super 11.”
Since the FWAA's inception in 1941, one of the organization's charges is to provide better working conditions for writers across the country. Over the years, the FWAA has given out press box commendations to deserving schools and has conducted ratings of sports information departments.
"We know there are many outstanding sports information departments representing schools across the country," said Tim Griffin, 2010 FWAA President and Chairman of the Super 11 Committee. "But we continue to believe it is imperative to honor the best of the best, including some that we have honored repeatedly over the years. These 11 departments are consistently exemplary in all that we ask.
"The FWAA’s commitment is to continue honoring the best departments in future years which recognize the demands of our jobs and strive to do what they can to help all media members on a consistent basis."
Criteria in determining the winners not only included how press boxes/operations were run, but the quality and timeliness of information provided, the amount of information presented and appropriately updated on websites, personal responsiveness to media inquires as well as the accessibility of players, head and assistant coaches. The ratings also took into consideration the departments that went the extra mile in servicing the media.
The Super 11 Committee received input from other FWAA members covering college football during a period from Feb. 1, 2013 through Jan. 31, 2014.
"The significance of this award cannot be overstated in this current climate of limited access and mounting restrictions," said 2014 FWAA President Kirk Bohls.
"At a time when some schools are making it formal policy to join the established media rather than assist it and almost put the press in a competing mode, it is imperative that we salute those among us who value their strong working relationships with football writers and go the extra mile in serving those interests. So to all these departments who have separated themselves, well done."
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 game-day operations, major awards, a national poll and its annual All-America team.
For more information on the Super 11, contact committee chairman Tim Griffin (210-823-3666, firstname.lastname@example.org) or visit the association's official website, footballwriters.com.