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Vol. 58, No. 2 • February 2021 • .pdf version
Decorated quintet enters USBWA's Hall of Fame
A longtime sports editor, three past presidents and a Katha Quinn Award winner comprise the 2021 USBWA's Hall of Fame class.
Bill Benner served as the USBWA president from 1998-99, while he was in the midst of a 33-year career at the Indianapolis Star, the last 10 as a columnist. Benner covered 20 Final Fours for the Star, two Pan-Am Games (in Havana and Indianapolis) and three Olympic Games (in Seoul, Barcelona and Atlanta). He was recognized twice as the Indiana Sportswriter of the Year by the National Association of Sportswriters and Sportscasters. His work on the Indiana-Purdue rivalry during the Bob Knight and Gene Keady eras was must reading.
Pat Forde, who was a USBWA president from 2015-16, works for Sports Illustrated after eight years with Yahoo Sports, seven at ESPN.com and 17 with the Louisville Courier-Journal. He has covered college basketball throughout those 30-plus years as a sportswriter. He played an essential role in Yahoo's coverage of the scandal that led to the creation of the NCAA's Commission on College Basketball. His work has been recognized 18 times by the Associated Press Sports Editors and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 1990.
Dana O'Neil, the USBWA president from 2014-15, has primarily covered college basketball for more than 25 years at The Trentonian, Bucks County Courier Times, Philadelphia Daily News, ESPN.com and currently for The Athletic. She wrote the book "Long Shots" about Villanova's national championship in 2017 and is writing a book about Big East basketball that will be published later this year. "I discovered a real passion for basketball, actually, once I got my first job at the Trentonian," O'Neil said. "I was fortunate enough to cover the area colleges and not only loved the college game, but liked that fact that with fewer athletes on a team, you really got to know the players better."
Brian Morrison, the ACC's former director of media, won the USBWA's Katha Quinn Award in 2014, recognizing his excellence in servicing the media. Morrison made the ACC the most media-friendly power conference, fighting to provide the media with courtside seating at each ACC tournament and inviting longtime members of the media to attend after they had retired. Morrison is "the epitome of a media-relations person who saw his first duty to the media," said News & Observer columnist and USBWA Second Vice President Luke DeCock.
Loren Tate, 89, a longtime sports of the Champaign News Gazette, continues to write for the newspaper more than two years after announcing his retirement. Tate has covered generations of Illinois teams, including the Final Four teams of 1989 and 2005. His first job as a sports writer in Hammond, Ind., began in 1955, and he became sports editor in Champaign in 1966 with an emphasis on writing.
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