Vol. 46, No. 2 February 2009 .pdf version
Dick Jerardi: Final Four coming at us in high gear
Joe Mitch: '79 champs to highlight Final Four breakfast
Steve Carp: We're here to help
Brian Burwell: Coaches or writers more worthy evaluators?
Dana O'Neil: Leave the podium for politicians
Trio dominates best writing contest | Complete Results

Dick Jerardi

President's Column:
Motor City Final Four coming at us in high gear

By DICK JERARDI / Philadelphia Daily News

Detroit and Ford Field might have seemed futuristic in October. Not in January. The first week of April and the Final Four are coming fast.

While David Worlock was in Philadelphia to go over everything involving first and second-round NCAA Tournament games at the Wachovia Center, we shared lunch at the world's great cheesesteak joint in Northeast Philly and discuss plans for Final Four weekend.

Worlock, the associate director of the men's basketball championship, loved the cheesesteak. Everybody does. If you see me in Philly in March, ask and I either will take you there or give you directions. The very politically incorrect Chink's is just 15 minutes north of the Wachovia Center, a few minutes off I-95.

Meanwhile, the USBWA Awards Breakfast is scheduled for Friday, April 3 from 8-9:30 a.m. at the Detroit Athletic Club. This has become a not-to-be missed event where we present the Oscar Robertson Player of the Year award, the Henry Iba Coach of the Year award and our Most Courageous Award. We will vote on those awards in March.

The USBWA Board will meet with the basketball committee on Saturday, April 4 from 8-9 a.m. in the Ambassador Ballroom, Salon 3, level 3 of the Marriott Renaissance.

The USBWA annual meeting/breakfast will be Monday, April 6, at 9 a.m. in the Ambassador Ballroom, Salon A, level 3 of the Marriott. Free food. USBWA business. Katha Quinn Award. Writing awards.

And there will be basketball games. The pre-semifinal breakout sessions with the players that began last year have been moved from Friday to Thursday afternoon, 1:05-3:20 p.m., at Ford Field.

If you are at Ford Field Thursday, hang for NCAA president Myles Brand's news conference. That will be at 3:45, followed by an NABC news conference at 4:45.

All credentials are to be picked up at Ford Field. Do yourself and the NCAA a favor and submit a photo when you apply for a credential. That will speed up the process when you go to pick up your credential.

If you run into me over the weekend and have any suggestions about Final Four weekend or anything involving the USBWA, please stop me and let's discuss.

If you want to talk about something and don't see me, e-mail me and I will find the time.

Final Four weekend is a great time to recruit new members. That is really up to us. If you know somebody that should be in the USBWA, talk to them about the benefits and show them how they can join.

We need to get younger and more diverse. Our world has changed. If you know people in the dot-com world who write about college basketball, get them involved in the USBWA. If you know people who write for their college paper about college hoops, get them involved.

Final Four weekend is a celebration of the season. It is a time to look back, but, for us, it is a time to look forward. It is a rare opportunity for all of us to help make the USBWA the best organization it can be.

The U.S. Basketball Writers Association and invites you to join us for the USBWA Annual Awards Breakfast in Detroit, announcing the 2009 Oscar Robertson Player of the Year, 2009 Henry Iba Coach of the Year, Most Courageous Award and to honor the 1978-79 national champion Michigan State Spartans.
Thursday, April 2
8 p.m.: Past Presidents and Board of Directors Dinner
Friday, April 3
8 a.m.: USBWA Player and Coach of the Year Awards Breakfast (Detroit Athletic Club)
Saturday, April 4
8 a.m.: USBWA Board Meeting with the NCAA Basketball Committee (Marriott Renaissance)
Monday, April 6
9 a.m.: USBWA Awards Breakfast and Annual Business Meeting (Marriott Renaissance, Ambassador Ballroom)
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