Rhoden, Junod and Lavigne Named 2023 medalists
Tom Junod, Paula Lavigne and William C. Rhoden are winners of the seventh annual Dan Jenkins Medal for Excellence in Sportswriting. Junod and Lavigne win the Jenkins Medal for Best Sportswriting (of 2022) for their ESPN article "". Rhoden wins for his body of work (spanning over 50 years) as an author, "Sports of the Times" columnist for The New York Times and currently as columnist and editor-at-large for Andscape (formerly The Undefeated). All will be honored at the Jenkins Medal award ceremony in Austin on October 13.
"Untold" by Junod and Lavigne, is a comprehensive recounting of survivors' experiences from their contacts with Todd Hodne, a prized Penn State football recruit who would be revealed as a serial rapist during his time on campus in the late 1970s. It's a demanding and painful story and the first meaningful mediated accounting of the survivors experiences in the aftermath of their sexual assaults albeit decades after they occurred. The story also raises fresh questions about Penn State football culture under storied coach Joe Paterno.
Said CSCM Director Dr. Michael Butterworth:
"‘Untold’ isn’t an easy story to read, and it surely wasn’t easy to write. Tom Junod and Paula Lavigne’s detailed reporting on Penn State football, sexual assault, and survival is impeccably researched and written with precision and care. It is both an infuriating indictment of our collective failure to protect innocent lives and an account of the varied paths those lives took over multiple decades. Ultimately, Junod and Lavigne challenge readers to consider our investment in sports and recognize that the line between sports serving or exploiting a community can be perilously thin. Quite simply, ‘Untold’ is remarkable piece of investigative journalism."
William "Bill" Rhoden has written his “Locker Room Talk” column for Andscape since 2016 in addition to contributing to multimedia storytelling content created by the platform. He worked at The New York Times for 34 years, 26 of them as the "Sports of The Times" columnist.
Rhoden is the author of two critically acclaimed books: Forty Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall and Redemption of the Black Athlete, and Third and A Mile: The Trials and Triumphs of The Black Quarterback. He won a Peabody Award for Broadcasting in 1996 as a writer for the HBO documentary Journey of the African American Athlete. He was also a writer on the 2008 documentary Breaking The Huddle: The Integration of College Football, which won an Emmy in 2009. He is in the Hall of Fame for both National Association of Black Journalists and National Sports Media Association.
In 2017, in collaboration with Andscape, ESPN, and the Walt Disney Company, Rhoden established the Rhoden Fellowship, a one-year program which identifies and trains aspiring African-American journalists from Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Rhoden, himself, received a degree in English from Morgan State University.
Said CSCM Director Dr. Michael Butterworth:
“William C. Rhoden is an award-winning writer, editor, and commentator, and he has been an authoritative voice on the racial politics of sports and the experiences of Black athletes for nearly half a century. His work has balanced a journalist’s dedication to truth with eloquence and a passion for justice. At a time when it has become increasingly clear that sports are intertwined with cultural, political, and social forces, it is appropriate to recognize the achievements of one of the definitive sports journalists of his generation. We are honored to celebrate his distinguished record and to honor William C. Rhoden with the Dan Jenkins Lifetime Achievement medal.”
The award juries for the Dan Jenkins Medal for Excellence in Sportswriting are co-chaired by Sally Jenkins and Michael MacCambridge. The jury for the Best Sportswriting award include members Kevin Blackistone, Kirk Bohls, Bryan Curtis, Melanie Hauser, Peter King, Jackie MacMullen, Kevin Robbins, John A. Walsh and Alexander Wolff. The jury for Lifetime Achievement in Sportswriting is comprised of Chuck Culpepper, Karen Crouse, Vahe Gregorian, Kathleen McElroy, Elizabeth Merrill, Joe Posnanski, Steve Rushin, Wright Thompson, and Seth Wickersham.
CSCM will host the Dan Jenkins Medal for Excellence in Sportswriting awards dinner on October 13 at The Headliners Club in Austin. The dinner is a celebration of the sportwriting craft and experience. Additionally, two-time world heavyweight champion and renowned pitchman George Foreman will receive the 2023 Jenkins Medal Sports Legend award.
2023 Jenkins Medal Finalists
CSCM has announced 12 articles (by 14 writers) as nominees for Best Sportswriting of the year for the seventh iteration of the Dan Jenkins Medal for Excellence in Sportswriting. The awards are presented annually in honor of the legendary Texas sportswriter and best-selling author, who defined the sportswriter’s craft for a generation.
The Jenkins Medal is awarded in two categories:
- The Dan Jenkins Medal for Lifetime Achievement in Sportswriting Award
- The Dan Jenkins Medal for Best Sportswriting Award
The Best Sportswriting award cites accomplishment for a single piece published in the previous calendar year (2022). Both awards are accompanied by a cash prize. The nominees for the 2023 Best Sportswriting category are:
- Roberto José Andrade Franco, ‘She made us happy': The all-star dreams of Uvalde's biggest José Altuve fan for ESPN.com, July 27, 2022
- Kent Babb, Hugh Freeze is the latest character in Auburn’s football soap opera for The Washington Post, December 7, 2022
- Brian Burnsed, Life After 7'6": Shawn Bradley, paralyzed in a bike crash, knows ‘It’ll never be the same’ for Sports Illustrated, January 12 2022
- Margie Cullen and Anne Marshall-Chalmers, Is high school running in need of a reckoning? for Runner’s World, November 18, 2022
- Mirin Fader, The many dimensions of DeMar DeRozan for The Ringer, February 18, 2022
- Wilton Jackson, She wanted a scholarship. Now she's the face of women's college basketball for Sports Illustrated, February 17, 2022
- Tom Junod and Paula Lavigne, Untold for ESPN.com, April 11, 2022
- Dan Robson, The quiet life and the sad death of the 'Miracle on Ice' team's Mark Pavelich for The Athletic February 2, 2022
- Mike Sielski, Before Kobe ... it was Sultan for The Philadelphia Inquirer, January 26, 2022
- Grant Wahl, The Qatar chronicles, part I for Futbol with Grant Wahl, Substack, September15, 2022
- Michael Weinreb, Complicity and deflection at the LIV Golf traveling circus for The Ringer, July 28, 2022
- Seth Wickersham, Andrew Luck finally reveals why he walked away from the NFL for ESPN.com, December 6, 2022
"The Center for Sports Communication & Media is proud to present the 2023 Best Sportswriting nominees," said CSCM Director Dr. Michael Butterworth. "We have an all-star line-up of outstanding writers, and this year’s collection of stories reveals a wide range of both theme and form. From high school track and cross country running to the National Football League, from a small town reeling from tragedy to the World Cup, from feature stories to investigative reporting, these authors show us sport’s full capacity to shape individual and community identities. The nominees represent the very best of sports journalism from 2022, and we look forward to announcing this year’s Best Sportswriting medal later this summer."
Final voting for Best Sportswriting award will be conducted by a jury of sportswriters that include co-chairs Sally Jenkins and Michael MacCambridge and committee members Kevin Blackistone, Kirk Bohls, Bryan Curtis, Melanie Hauser, Peter King, Jackie MacMullen, Kevin Robbins, John A. Walsh and Alexander Wolff.
The voting for Lifetime Achievement in Sportswriting will be conducted by the co-chairs Jenkins and MacCambridge with a committee that includes Chuck Culpepper, Karen Crouse, Vahe Gregorian, Kathleen McElroy, Elizabeth Merrill, Joe Posnanski, Steve Rushin, Wright Thompson, and Seth Wickersham. Nominees for the lifetime achievement award are not made public.
The 2023 Best Sportswriting and Lifetime Achievement winners will be announced in the coming month. CSCM will host an in-person dinner on October 13 in Austin to celebrate this year’s the winners. The upcoming dinner will also feature the 2023 Jenkins Medal Sports Legend, who will be announced soon.
Dan Jenkins was an award-winning sportswriter and best-selling novelist whose career spanned more than six decades. He was the author of 24 books—12 novels and 12 works of non-fiction. After 15 years of writing for newspapers in Fort Worth and Dallas, Jenkins became nationally known for his stories in Sports Illustrated for more than a quarter of a century, and afterward for his five-year stint of writing a sports column for Playboy, and since then for his columns, features, and tweets in Golf Digest. Three of his best-selling novels—Semi-Tough, Dead Solid Perfect, and Baja Oklahoma—have been made into movies. He is one of only three sportswriters to be inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. He has also been inducted into the National Sportswriters and Sportscasters Hall of Fame, the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, the Texas Golf Hall of Fame, and the TCU Lettermens Hall of Fame. For a lifetime of excellence in his profession, Jenkins has received the Red Smith Award from the Associated Press Sports Editors Association, the Ring Lardner Award from the Union League of Chicago, the PEN/ESPN Award for literary sports writing, the lifetime achievement award in sports journalism from the PGA of America and the William D. Richardson Award for outstanding contributions to the game from the Golf Writers Association of America. But Jenkins said he was proudest of the fact that he managed to stay employed by one publication or another throughout his long career.
Passan, Jenkins reset awards dinner
Jeff Passan and Sally Jenkins received the 2022 Jenkins Medals for Best Sportswriting and Lifetime Acheivement (respectively) at the reboot of the annual awards dinner after the COVID-19 pandemic. The ceremony also featured medal presentations to Liz Merrill, Rick Telander, Mitchell S. Jackson and Roger Angell (posthumously). NFL Hall of Famer Charles "Mean Joe" Greene received the 2022 Jenkins Medal Sports Legend award.
Roger Angell and Mitchell S. Jackson have been named 2021 award winners by the Dan Jenkins Medal for Excellence in Sportswriting jury.
Angell, who died in 2022, was a senior editor and a staff writer at The New Yorker, where he first began working in 1944. He wrote more than a hundred Sporting Scene pieces for the magazine, mostly on baseball but also on tennis, hockey, football, rowing, and horse racing. He is the author of numerous books - many on baseball - including, “The Summer Game,” “Five Seasons,” “Late Innings,” “Season Ticket,” “Once More Around the Park,” “A Pitcher’s Story,” and “Game Time.” The only writer ever elected by both the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
Jackson received the 2021 Jenkins Medal for Best Sportswriting for "Twelve Minutes and a Life" which was published in Runner's World. The article recounts the death of Ahmaud Arbery who was murdered after going out for a jog. In the piece, Jackson recounts the circumstances that led to Arbery’s murder in Glynn County, Georgia. Jackson’s piece also won the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in Feature Writing and the 2021 National Magazine Award in Feature Writing.
Telander, Merrill recognized in 2020
Rick Telander and Elizabeth Merrill have been named 2020 award winners by the Dan Jenkins Medal for Excellence in Sportswriting jury. Telander receives the Lifetime Achievement award while Merrill is recognized for the best sportswriting of the year (2019). The winners will be celebrated in a video compilation under production. They will participate in the 2021 Jenkins Medal dinner and award ceremony when in-person events resume post-coronavirus. This is the fourth year these national awards have been presented. They are named in honor of Jenkins, the legendary Texas sportswriter, to celebrate the craft and culture of sportswriting he personified through his storied career.
Smith, Spain, Sheinin (and Nicklaus!!!) celebrated for 2019
Gary Smith, Sarah Spain and Dave Sheinin have been named 2019 award winners by the Dan Jenkins Medal for Excellence in Sportswriting jury. Smith receives the Lifetime Achievement award, while Spain and Sheinin are recognized for the best sportswriting of the previous year. The winners will be celebrated and receive their medals at a banquet at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth on Oct. 25, hosted by The University of Texas at Austin’s Center for Sports Communication & Media. This year’s ceremony honored the legacy of Dan Jenkins, who passed away in March 2019 at age 90, featuring a conversation with legendary golfer Jack Nicklaus, who received the inaugural Jenkins Medal Sports Legend award.
Dave Kindred and Chris Ballard were among dozens of distinguished sports journalists, faculty members and university officials who attended the second annual awards banquet hosted by the Center for Sports Communication & Media at UT-Austin's DKR Texas Memorial Stadium. NBC Sports broadcaster Mary Carillo emceed the event, attended by Jenkins and his family, including his daughter, Sally Jenkins, a columnist at The Washington Post. Kindred, a beloved figure in the sportswriting community, was recognized with the Jenkins Medal for Career Achievement in sportswriting, for an body of work, featuring stints at Atlanta Journal Constitution, The National Sports Daily, Sporting News, The Washington Post and Golf Digest. Ballard, a writer for Sports Illustrated, was presented with the Jenkins Medal for Best Sportswriting of 2017 for his profile, “You Can't Give In,” a moving profile of NBA coach Monty Williams, enduring tremendous personal loss.
Frank Deford and Wright Thompson were named winners of the first-annual Dan Jenkins Medals for Excellence in Sportswriting during a ceremony in Dallas on Oct. 13, hosted by The University of Texas at Austin Center for Sports Communication & Media. The national awards, named after the legendary Texas sportswriter Dan Jenkins, were presented before a sellout crowd of 150 at the Pecan Room in Dallas. Deford, a sportswriting icon, was recognized posthumously with the Jenkins Medal for Career Achievement in sportswriting, for an unsurpassed career that defined cultural engagement with and observation of American and international sports. Thompson, a writer for ESPN The Magazine, was presented with the Jenkins Medal for Best Sportswriting of 2016 for his profile, “The Secret History of Tiger Woods.”