The well respected Football Writers of America (FWAA) has come out with their list of the best 11 Sports Information Directors (SIDs) in the nation and Pitt has won it, along with 10 other schools, for 2015.
E. J. Borghetti, who is a great SID and a huge help for us writers on The Blather, is the consummate professional and deserves this honor in spades.
To refresh your memory he is the “Executive Associate Athletic Director – Media Relations” for the Athletic Department and does wonderful work for Pitt and for us fans. (More on that later).
Just for fun let’s look at the criteria the FWAA lays out for candidacy for the awards:
The awards …
In 2009, the Football Writers Association of America introduced its Super 11 Awards, designed to identify and reward the sports information departments and programs that exemplified excellent media relations.
The criteria …
The following ten areas were set forth as the criteria/standards for selection for the awards:
– Players (eligible and playing in varsity games) who are requested should be available to media during Mondays and Tuesdays of game week (minimum).
– Defensive coordinator and offensive coordinator should be available to media once a week during the season (minimum) and once a month during the off-season (minimum).
– Freshmen who play should be available to media.
– If former players and/or boosters are allowed into scrimmages or practices, the media should not be excluded from those same scrimmages or practices. (Whaaaaa??)
Coaches should be available to media on their campuses at least once a week during the season for no less than 30 minutes. They also should be made available after practice each day for updates on the team. Weekly telephonic press conferences do not count toward these times.
– A “no cheering in the press box” statement should be made in the press box before the beginning of each half of play. In addition, SID’s should make every attempt to keep the press box quiet and escort disruptive individuals to the exits.
– Requests for quotes from key players injured in a game should be granted by the home SID and his staff.
– FWAA member(s) should help the each SID with requests for players to be interviewed after a game. Any player who has played (and is not injured) and is not made available for interviews will be so noted by FWAA observers. The FWAA recommends open locker rooms after games, but short of this, any player who plays in a game and is not injured, upon request, should be made available to the media.
– An FWAA pool reporter or a reputable news person should be designated by the home SID before every game in case there is an officiating controversy during the game.
Boosters should not be present at postgame news conferences involving the media, coaches and players. Interruptions or noise will be duly noted by the FWAA observer. Press boxes where non-media are disruptive will also be noted.
The 2015 recipients …
The 2015 winners of Super 11 Awards were the following programs: Clemson, Houston, Kansas State, Louisiana, Indiana, Mississippi State, Northern Illinois, Pittsburgh (EJ and his staff), Southern California (USC), Utah State and Western Kentucky.
On a personal note I am proud to call young Mr. Borghetti a friend and will say his willingness to answer what questions he can is a breath of fresh air when writing these articles. His candor
Plus he doesn’t take crap from anyone. Not PSU fans,as shown when this letter to the editor appeared in the local newspaper:
To: Pitt football fans
Speaking of being stuck in the past: Pitt football fans actually believe the program has tradition. Maybe 30 years ago it did. Its current tradition is a half-full Heinz Field for its games and a new head coach every other year. Maybe Pitt fans annoy me because I’m a Penn Stater, but maybe they do because they don’t live in reality. Do the Pitt sports-information people still claim to have nine national championships in football?
To which EJ replied:
Perhaps the real source of Mr. Garth’s grouchiness is that after 16 long years, his alma mater, Penn State, can no longer avoid Pitt on the football field. The origin of hate is fear, and he undoubtedly sees that Pat Narduzzi is building a tough, tenacious and, yes, blue-collar program primed for championships at Pitt.
Blue-and-white colored glasses cannot shield him from the approaching storm. The program that produced homegrown legends Ditka, Dorsett and Marino (among many others) has reawakened — just in time for Sept. 10, 2016.
He can stay home the day a parade is held to celebrate Coach Narduzzi bringing a 10th national title to Pitt.
… not Todd Graham nor anyone else that I can remember.
It was well deserved promotion when EJ was fleeted-up to the “Executive Associate Athletic Director – Media Relations”