NIU Athletics Media Relations Office earns national honor among ‘FBS Super 11’ for 2011

Super 11 FWAAThe Northern Illinois University Athletics Media Relations Office has been honored as a “Super 11” sports information department by the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), the organization announced on Monday.

The honor recognizes the best 11 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) departments in the nation during the 2011 season.

In addition to Northern Illinois, the FWAA honored the athletics communications staffs from Auburn, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Michigan State, Oklahoma, San Diego State, Southern California, Syracuse, Utah State and Western Kentucky with “Super 11” status.

The award is in its third year of existence, and NIU is the second sports information office from a Mid-American Conference school to be honored.

Donna Turner is NIU’s associate athletics director for communications.
Donna Turner is NIU’s associate athletics director for communications.

“There are many truly outstanding sports information departments across college football,” said Tim Griffin, the FWAA’s 2010 president and chairman of the Super 11 selection committee for a third straight season.

“But we at the FWAA felt it was very important to honor those we thought were the best of the best – including some we’ve honored in our two previous years who are consistently exemplary above and beyond the call of duty. It is our plan to continue this program over the years to continue honoring those outstanding departments which understand the unique demands of our jobs and continually do what they can to try and help us 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.

“These awards show which sports information departments – as judged by a veteran group of FWAA writers – service the media in the best way for a particular year,” said FWAA executive director Steve Richardson. “We salute these schools and the ones in the past who have been selected to this group.”

Dave Doeren talks to sports reporters during a Dec. 13, 2010, news conference organized by the NIU Athletic Media Relations Office to introduce him as the new head coach of Huskies football.
Dave Doeren talks to sports reporters during a Dec. 13, 2010, news conference organized by the NIU Athletic Media Relations Office to introduce him as the new head coach of Huskies football.

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.

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.

For more information on NIU Huskie sports, visit www.niuhuskies.com.

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