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Jeff Washburn’s Devotion to the World He Loved

(Editor’s note: Hall of Fame sports reporter Jeff Washburn, who passed away Nov. 29 at the age of 63, was buried Thursday in Lafayette, IN. The funeral took place Wednesday night in The Crawley Athletic Center in Jefferson High School. Washburn worked for the Lafayette Journal and Courier and the Associated Press, among other outlets. The 1991 Indiana Sportswriter of the Year, Washburn received the Silver Medal Award from the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame in 2011. The officiant was Dr. Sally Downham Miller. The speakers included Purdue men’s basketball coach Matt Painter. The eulogies were delivered by his son Jade, who has written for the Associated Press, and this one delivered by Sports Capital Journalism Program director Malcolm Moran.) 

There’s a story that sportswriters share about a conversation that took place years ago in the press box at Fenway Park in Boston, hours before the Red Sox were going to play. As the local scribes were unpacking their things, they were talking about the same thing that everyone in town was talking about, the spike in lottery prize money. As they shared their dream destinations, the scribes noticed that one of them, off to the side, was not saying anything.

So they asked: How about you? What would you do?

And here was the response:

“Not even the courtesy of a phone call.”

The dirty little secret about life in the press box is the amount of moaning and groaning and whining that takes place nearly every day and every night. It is against this dour backdrop that the qualities of Jeff Washburn would shine every time he walked through that door.  Continue reading Jeff Washburn’s Devotion to the World He Loved

Weekly Roundup: Nov 28-Dec 4

Lee Jenkins (@SI_LeeJenkins) of Sports Illustrated profiles Ben Simmons and his quest for NBA stardom.

Dirk Chatelain (@dirkchatelain) of the Omaha World-Herald writes about Scott Frost’s return to Nebraska and what it means for the program going forward.

Chris Johnson (@bychrisjohnson) of Sports Illustrated profiles Zion Williamson and how he came to prominence as a high school star thanks to social media.

Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) of Sports Illustrated takes a look at the long-awaited return of the rivalry between the 76ers and the Celtics.

Dotun Akintoye (@YNGNKL) of ESPN the Magazine profiles the unforgiving play on the field, and the relaxed nature off it, of Cincinnati Bengals’ linebacker Vontaze Burfict.

Andrea Adelson (@aadelsonESPN) of ESPN details how the Florida State football season cost them Jimbo Fisher.

Heather Dinich (@CFBHeather) of ESPN takes a look at the College Football Playoff selection committee and how they chose the playoff teams.

Bill Pennington (@billmpennington) of the New York Times takes a look at the New York Giants’ decision to bench Eli Manning.

Barrett, Dobbins lead Ohio State to Big Ten championship

By Jared McMurry (@jaredmac26)

Sports Capital Journalism Program

INDIANAPOLIS – Ohio State found holes in the Wisconsin defense and stifled the Badgers running game, holding on for a 27-21 victory in the 2017 Big Ten Football Championship Game Saturday night at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The win gave the No. 8 Buckeyes (11-2) their 36th Big Ten football title and its 11th in the last 25 years, and opens up the possibility of the College Football Playoff Committee selecting them as the first two-loss team in the four-year history of the selection process.

“We have two wins over two top-four teams, and another one, I believe they were ranked 12th to 13th,” Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer said about his team’s playoff chances. “We’re the conference champions. I love these guys. I’ve never been more proud of a group of players, and we deserve a shot.”

Continue reading Barrett, Dobbins lead Ohio State to Big Ten championship

So close to perfection, Wisconsin’s championship hopes end

By Mark Alewine (MR_Alewine)

Sports Capital Journalism Program

INDIANAPOLIS— Troy Fumagalli and the Wisconsin seniors have been here before.

Watching the confetti cover the turf at Lucas Oil Stadium. Filing into the tunnel with the deafening cheers behind them.

O! H! I! O!

It’s been three years since Wisconsin lost to Ohio State, 59-0, in the Big Ten Football Championship Game. Three years since former coach Gary Anderson jumped ship for Oregon State, and left Wisconsin Athletic Director Barry Alvarez to take the helm for the Badgers 34-31 victory over Auburn in the Outback Bowl. Three years since Paul Chryst came home to take over a program in need of a leader.

And just one year since this same team lost to the Penn State Nittany Lions on this same field for a Big Ten Championship.

Now it was less than an hour since the Ohio State Buckeyes defeated Wisconsin, 27-21, in the 2017 Big Ten Football Championship Football Game, and the Wisconsin seniors are once again facing the reality of coming up just short of a conference title near the end of a suddenly imperfect season.

Continue reading So close to perfection, Wisconsin’s championship hopes end

The stress of seeding the College Football Playoff

Editor’s Note: Jonathan Sauber, a graduate assistant in the Department of Journalism and Public Relations, was the chair of the inaugural College Football Playoff mock selection exercise for student journalists. IUPUI is the only school that has had students serve as voting members of mock exercises of the College Football Playoff and the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. 

By Jonathan Sauber (@JonSauber)

Sports Capital Journalism Program

The tension in the room was mounting as Bill Hancock, executive director of the College Football Playoff, quietly told us, “I think it’s time to vote.” We were about to make the most important decision of the day.

I felt confident as each committee member cast a vote on laptops with the College Football Playoff logo. I knew the room would see the light.

Continue reading The stress of seeding the College Football Playoff