May 3, 2013
HOUSTON - The University of Houston Athletics Communications Office was cited by the Football Writers Association of America with its "Super 11" award as one of the best in NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision during the 2012 season.
Houston joined Baylor, Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Georgia, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oregon State, Vanderbilt, Virginia and Wyoming as recipients of the honor. The Cougars join Tulsa (2011) as the only Conference USA recipients of the award.
Houston Athletics Communications is managed by assistant athletics director David Bassity, who recently completed his first season at Houston. Before joining the Cougars, Bassity was a member of the Oklahoma Communications office that received the accolade in 2011.
Working with Bassity, director Jeff Conrad, assistant directors Michael McGrory, Kyle Seay and Allison McClain, Communications assistant Kailee Neumann and several student assistants handle a variety of duties for Houston Football home and road games all season.
"There are many outstanding sports information departments representing schools across the nation," said Tim Griffin, the FWAA's 2010 president and chairman of the Super 11 selection committee. "But we continue to feel it is very important to honor the best of the best - including some we've honored multiple times over the years. These 11 departments are consistently exemplary above and beyond the call of duty."
"It is our commitment to continue to honor in upcoming years the departments who understand the demands of our jobs and strive to do what they can to try and help us on a consistent basis."
The FWAA introduced the Super 11 Awards in 2009 to identify and reward the athletics communications offices and programs that exemplified excellent media relations. Several criteria were used to determined the recipients, including the efficiency of press box operations, student-athletes and coaches availability throughout the season and the distribution of media materials. The selection committee also reviewed those departments that went the extra mile in assisting media members with their duties.
The Super 11 Committee received input from other FWAA members covering college football during a period from Feb. 1, 2012 through Jan. 31, 2013.
"Just by the mere fact we have nine new departments this season shows that a growing number of schools are realizing the importance of good SID departments," said FWAA executive director Steve Richardson. "We salute these schools and the ones in the past who have been selected to this group."
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.
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 1,200 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.