The University of Iowa Athletics Communications Office was one of the sports information departments honored with the Football Writers Association of America Super 11 Award for the 2021 season.
The honor is presented annually to the best performing sports information departments in the Football Bowl Subdivision. The distinction is the second for Iowa Athletic Communications since the awards began in 2009. Iowa previously was honored in 2019.
“The 2020 and 2021 football seasons featured unprecedented challenges for all of us, but some sports information departments worked with coaches and players to go above and beyond and to make sure media could do their jobs and provide fans with the information they crave,” said David Ubben, 2022 FWAA President. “That allows all of us to have jobs, and we’re appreciative of these departments for providing that access while also making sure both media and members of football programs remain safe. College football is better and grows when sports information departments are able to provide as much access as possible.”
This year’s winners were deemed to have had excellent accessibility during the week of the game and after the game, with a program’s players, coaches and assistant coaches.
“Our membership wants access to players and coaches after games, of course, but also for human interest and analytical stories during the week,” said FWAA Executive Director Steve Richardson. “Assistant coaches are also part of the mix that give stories depth. Over the years, for a variety of reasons this access has been restricted. We believe there are many good stories out there that can be told if they are allowed to be told if our members are allowed good access.”
Three first-time winners and eight previous winners comprise the honorees for the 2021 season. The other honorees include Clemson, Colorado, Louisville, Kansas State, Miami (Fla.), Navy, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ole Miss and South Carolina.
FWAA members provided input during the season and made comments in an FWAA Awards survey after the 2021 season. In addition, SID press boxes were judged on how well they were run and maintained in terms of neutrality, pool reporters and noise level that could affect a media person’s ability to do his or her job. In recent years, the availability of nearby press parking has become a plus.
Founded in 1941, the Football Writers Association of America consists of journalists, broadcasters, publicists, photographers and key executives in all areas of college football. The FWAA works to govern media access and game-day operations while presenting awards and honors, including an annual FWAA All-America Team.