2009 Sam Lacy Pioneer Awards

TAMPA, Fla. – Former NFL and Tampa Bay Buccaneer stars Lee Roy Selmon and Doug Williams are scheduled to receive Sam Lacy Pioneer Awards this week from the National Association of Black Journalists during the organization’s annual convention here.

Others to be honored by the NABJ Sports Task Force on Friday include former Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Ken Riley; Olympic swimmer Maritza Correia; professional golfer Jim Dent; and Associated Press sportswriter Fred Goodall.

The Task Force also will present special merit awards to Brian McIntyre, senior vice president, basketball communications for the NBA and Garry D. Howard, assistant managing editor/sports for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

“The recipients of our award are very deserving for the contributions to their respected careers, but more importantly, their direct impact on the communities they served,” said Greg Lee Jr., senior assistant sports editor of the Boston Globe and NABJ Sports Task Force chairman. “It is very important to this body to recognize those individuals at every convention city we touch annually.”

The award is named for baseball Hall of Fame writer Sam Lacy, and is presented to sports figures in the city that hosts the NABJ Convention that year. NABJ is the largest minority journalist organization in the United States.

Each award recipient receives a plaque and public acknowledgement of their career achievements.

“Although baseball, basketball and football are our mainstays, through the Pioneer Awards we’ve been able to honor athletes who have excelled in non-traditional sports for black people,” said event co-host Ron Thomas, director of the Morehouse College Journalism and Sports Program.

“Jim Dent will be our first golfer to become an honoree and Maritza Correia will be the first swimmer we have honored. Their presence certainly will be a highlight of the event.”

Selmon, 54, a defensive end, is one of three brothers to play football at the University of Oklahoma. He played on two Sooners’ national championship teams in 1974 and 1975, and won the Outland Trophy and Lombardi Award in 1975.

Selmon was taken by the Bucs as the first overall pick in the 1976 NFL draft and played nine seasons. He was a six-time Pro Bowl selection and was the league’s Defensive Player of the Year in 1979.

Williams, 53, was a quarterback from Grambling State University. He was a first-round selection (17th overall) for Tampa Bay in the 1978 NFL draft. He led the Bucs to three playoff appearances in his first four years, including the 1979 NFC title game against the Los Angeles (now St. Louis) Rams.

In 1982, Williams joined the Oklahoma Outlaws of the United States Football League. After the league folded in 1986, Williams returned to the NFL with the Washington Redskins. In 1988 he became the first African-American quarterback in the NFL to start and win the Super Bowl, leading Washington to a 42-10 victory against the Denver Broncos.

Riley, 61, played 15 seasons in the NFL, all for the Cincinnati Bengals. He appeared in the 1982 Super Bowl, which Cincinnati lost to San Francisco. Upon his retirement in 1983, Riley had the fourth highest total of interceptions (65) in NFL history.

Correia, 27, won 11 NCAA championships while at the University of Georgia from 1999-2003. In 2004 she became America’s first black female Olympic swimmer, and was a member of the 400m relay team that won a silver medal in Athens, Greece.

Dent, 70, who turned professional in 1966 and joined the PGA Tour in 1970, won three consecutive Florida state PGA championships from 1976-78. He did not win a PGA Tour event, but Dent has won 12 events on the PGA Senior (now Champions) Tour.

Goodall was the first AP sportswriter specifically assigned to cover the state of Florida, beginning in Miami then later in Tampa and St. Petersburg. He has been covering sports in Florida since 1980.


Chairman's message

Greetings Task Force Members,

Greg Lee Jr., STF chairman.

Greg Lee Jr., STF chairman.

I am finally getting around to writing about our successful convention. Last week, the AAJA Convention was in Boston. I was representing NABJ at some functions. I am finally getting a breather. Now it’s time to give you an update on our 2009 Convention.

It was an unprecedented year for the NABJ Sports Task Force at the NABJ Convention in Tampa.

Nationally, we were noticed.

Leon Carter and Sandy Rosenbush were presented with the Legacy Award for their work on the Sports Journalism Institute.

It was an emotional moment for me as I presented my journalism parents with the award.

Then, later at the same event, Larry Whiteside was enshrined into the NABJ Hall of Fame. Derrick Jackson accepted the award on the family’s behalf. Jackson was flanked by some of the journalists who were on Whiteside’s famous “Black List.”

Later in the week, Michael Wilbon accepted the NABJ Lifetime Achievement Award and gave voice to the importance of sports journalism in our profession.

Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts started off the week with a powerful speech during the Mentor Breakfast.

The Task Force had three workshops during the convention programming.

The Task Force also made news with its meeting with LeBron James as SportsCenter, Jim Rome and PTI mentioned his comments on the dunk, the handshake and Shaquille O’Neal.

The Sam Lacy Pioneer Awards were doled out at another successful event. We honored legends such as Doug Williams and Jim Dent.

We also awarded two Larry Whiteside Scholarships — Daniel Sampson of Texas Southern and DeAntae Prince of Indiana University.

The Sports Task Force Scholarship Jam had a different feel with a Bowling Tournament, dominated by Jemele Hill. The event raised nearly $9,000 for the task force.

It was also an election year and the Task Force elected the following people.

Chairman: Gregory Lee
Vice President-Print: Marc Spears
Vice President-Broadcast: Mike Eaves
Vice President-PR: Tara August
Secretary: Gary Washburn
Seargent at Arms: Chuck Johnson
East Region: George Willis
South Region: Freddie Willis
Midwest Region: A. Sherrod Blakely
West Region: James Black

Other issues at the Business meeting were:

  • A more moderate priced golf tournament so more people can participate. Members of the task force would like to be more involved in the planning.
  • Journalism Sports Education Focus.
  • A possible NABJ STF book.
  • Year-round professional development webinars.
  • A possible celebrity poker tournament at next year’s convention.

It has been a great year for the Sports Task Force. In the coming days, I will be making committee assignments. I will designate based on your skill level. So be ready to serve!

Join us for the 4th annual Sports Task Force Jam in Tampa, Fla.

The Legacy Started in Indy….
What Happened in Vegas, Stayed in Vegas…
We Tore The House Down in Chicago…

And now,

NABJ’s Sports Task Force Requests Your Presence at…

The 4th Annual NABJ Sports Task Force Jam

Sponsored by ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex

Mingle with top sports journalists including this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award winner Michael Wilbon of The Washington Post and ESPN, ESPN’s Stuart Scott, Mike Hill, Jay Harris, CNN’s Stephanie Elam and Roland Martin; former Tampa Bay Buc’s quarterback and ESPN analyst Shaun King; Entertainment Tonight’s Kevin Frazier, Oklahoma City guard Chucky Atkins, ex-NBA coach and player Sam Mitchell. Don’t miss out on what has become one of NABJ’s most popular events.

Here’s the details:

When: Aug. 6, 2009, 9:30 p.m. to 3 a.m.
Where: Splitsville Luxury Lanes, 615 Channelside Drive, Tampa, Fla. 33602
Info: http://www.splitsvillelanes.com/
Directions: A short walk or one trolley stop away from the host hotel the Marriott Waterside.
Attire: Casual, chic, dress to impress. No jerseys, hats, sunglasses permitted.

VIP Admission: $75 in advance; Limited to 75. $100 at door, if space is available.

VIP Guests: Participate in the Celebrity Bowling event; Hor’dervos and UNLIMITED premium alcohol from 10-11:30 p.m.; After 11:30 p.m. exclusive access to private bowling area, pool tables, and private designated bar. This area will be roped off and wrist bands to be provided.


Regular Admission :$20 general admission in advance; $35 at the door.

Regular Admission Guest: Free bowling between 10-11:30 p.m. for the first two hundred that purchase admission. *Please bring receipt with advance ticket purchases.

All proceeds support NABJ student scholarships.

For additional information, please contact Sports Task Force Chair, Gregory Lee Jr., 240.350.5912, or glee@globe.com.