Hearst update: Sports Writing

In Awards, Hearst, IDS on March 3, 2013 at 4:04 pm

It’s a damn exciting week for Hoosier journalists.

Claire Wiseman won 1st place for her story, “The story behind the score.” That earns her a trip to San Francisco for the Hearst finals in June. From the story:


The outrage sparked by the game made those who were there reluctant to speak.

Arlington’s players appeared on television only once, on CNN’s “Starting Point” with Soledad O’Brien. They smiled into the camera as their coach said they were shocked by how decisively the Bloomington South players trounced them.

“They’d played longer than most of us,” one player told O’Brien, “and they worked very hard, and we just haven’t played before, and it was probably really hard for all of us.”

Arlington officials responded carefully as well. Though media attention was largely sympathetic to their team, the officials became wary of the impact further coverage would have on students. When asked what their team learned from the loss, Coach Jackson said perseverance.

“No matter what it is,” Jackson said, “you just gotta finish it.”

The parents of the Bloomington South players agreed together not to speak to reporters. School officials treated the game like ancient history.

“Everybody’s moved on,” said J.R. Holmes, Bloomington South’s athletic director. “It’s out of the news, and we don’t even discuss it anymore.”

The extreme loss touched a nerve. It raised questions. What do players learn from losing so badly? Can a defeat like this one really be considered a victory?

Wonderful stuff.

I (Charlie) also won 6th place for my story on Bob Knight’s troubled legacy. From that story:


One of the most revered and most infamous coaches in history, Bob Knight decided last fall to clean house, putting pieces of his legacy up for sale. Hundreds of items were to be auctioned online through a sports memorabilia firm.

Knight told the Associated Press he was selling the rings and the other artifacts to raise money for his grandchildren’s college fund. But here in Indiana, it was hard not to wonder. After a lifetime as a coach and an analyst for ESPN, it seemed unlikely that he was strapped for cash. Was it a coincidence that the auction would begin as the Hoosiers entered the season ranked No. 1 for the first time since he left?

The coach’s messy departure from IU — the firing, the lawsuits, the riot — was almost as legendary as his winning record. Since then, the university had repeatedly tried to reach out to him, inviting him to be honored at public rituals of commemoration. But the answer was always no.

Now, when the Hoosiers were back on top, Knight was selling off emblems of collective memory, even the ring symbolizing the unmatched perfection of 1976.

Was he just being a good granddad? Or was he telling IU that all those years together meant nothing?

These wins put IU further in 1st in the Intercollegiate Writing Competition. We are now 44 points ahead of Penn State, in 2nd place. Behind Penn State is Northwestern, Florida, Kansas, Nebraska-Lincoln, Arizona State, Mizzou, UNC-Chapel Hill and Syracuse.

The profile deadline is March 6. The final competition is breaking news, due April 2.


  1. […] Scudder won first place in profile writing for his story “A queen comes home” and will join Claire Wiseman at the national writing competition in San Francisco this […]

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