CU Sports Information Again Honored With 'Super 11' Recognition
BOULDER — Not even a global pandemic could derail the efforts of the University of Colorado's Sports Information Department.
Despite a late start to the football season and countless obstacles presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, CU Sports Information proved to be hitting on all cylinders again in 2020. For the seventh time in eight years, the department has been honored as one of the nation's best, earning "Super 11" recognition from the Football Writers Association of America.
The honor, given to the nation's best performing sports information departments in the Football Bowl Subdivision, was first bestowed by the FWAA after the 2009 season.
It is the eighth time overall for CU to be recognized. Colorado was the only Pac-12 school to earn recognition for the 2020 season.
Clemson and Colorado each won for an eighth time. It was Clemson's sixth straight award and Colorado's seventh in eight seasons.
First-time recipients were Boston College, North Carolina, Penn State and West Virginia. Others recognized with Super 11 designation were Appalachian State, Indiana, Kansas State, Kentucky and Nebraska.
The FWAA also issued Merit Awards to the staffs of the Cotton and Rose bowls and San Jose State's sports information staff.
With its eighth designation, Colorado continues to be among a select group of consistent Super 11 designees. Colorado Associate AD/Sports Information Director David Plati said he was especially proud of last season's effort by his group.
"Our staff in sports information answered every challenge we faced, dealing with spacing restrictions and in the football press box, having to have all those huge windows open for air flow due to Boulder County regulations," Plati said. "I thought we might lose a chance at the honor when we had some members of the media jumping up and down to stay warm during the San Diego State game, but they understood it wasn't our call."
CU was recognized for once again providing outstanding access to players and coaches despite the roadblocks presented by the pandemic. Colorado also earned special recognition for Plati's leadership in helping the College Sports Information Directors of America determine guidelines for press boxes in 2020, as well as consistently making FWAA Freshman Coach of the Year Karl Dorrell available.
"This (2020) was a different kind of year, obviously," FWAA Executive Director Steve Richardson said. "We tried to honor schools who went the extra mile in player and coach access remotely in most cases or to help writers in a scrambled season."
Colorado no doubt met that challenge.
"It's humbling to be honored, but I appreciate all the people that help make this happen," Plati said. "Coaches and players were willing to grant access, even though we had to endure limitations with the pandemic and doing almost all Zooms and very few one-on-ones throughout the entire year for all sports. Rick (George) did several sessions as well. It was a total team effort."
In January 2009, the FWAA formed the first Super 11 Committee. The concept has been supported and endorsed by CoSIDA, many of whom are members of the FWAA. The FWAA has awarded Super 11 to more than 70 different schools in this program over the years.
The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization founded in 1941, consists of more than 1,300 men and women across North America who cover college football for a living. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists, as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works to govern areas that include game-day operations, major awards, a national poll and its annual All-America teams.
The complete press release for this year's awards can be found here.
2020 Super 11 Award recipients — Appalachian State, Boston College, Clemson, Colorado, Indiana, Kansas State, Kentucky, Nebraska, North Carolina, Penn State, West Virginia.
2019 Super 11 Award recipients — Appalachian State, California, Clemson, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas State, Memphis, Mississippi State, Navy, North Carolina State, San Diego State
2018 Super 11 Award recipients — Arizona State, Clemson, Colorado, Iowa State, Miami, Mississippi State, Navy, Nebraska, Pitt, UAB, and Wisconsin
2017 Super 11 Award recipients — Clemson, Colorado, Georgia, Houston, Miami (Ohio), Ohio State, Oklahoma, Rice, South Alabama, USC and Wyoming
2016 Super 11 Award recipients — Air Force, Arkansas State, Clemson, Colorado, Miami (Ohio), Navy, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Southern California, Tennessee and UTEP.
2015 Super 11 Award recipients — Clemson, Houston, Kansas State, Louisiana, Indiana, Mississippi State, Northern Illinois, Pittsburgh, Southern California (USC), Utah State and Western Kentucky.
2014 Super 11 Award recipients — Auburn, Bowling Green, Colorado, East Carolina, Iowa State, Nebraska, Pittsburgh, Rice, Rutgers, UNLV and Southern California.
2013 Super 11 Award recipients — Colorado, Duke, Fresno State, Georgia, Middle Tennessee, Nebraska, Ole Miss, SMU, South Alabama, Southern California and Texas Tech.
2012 Super 11 Award recipients — Baylor, Bowling Green, Cincinnati, Georgia, Houston, Minnesota, Nebraska, Oregon State, Vanderbilt, Virginia and Wyoming.
2011 Super 11 Award recipients — Auburn, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Michigan State, Northern Illinois, Oklahoma, San Diego State, Southern California, Syracuse, Utah State and Western Kentucky.
2010 Super 11 Award recipients — Clemson, Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Navy, Northwestern, Rutgers, Southern California, Troy, Tulsa, and Utah.
2009 Super 11 Award recipients — Buffalo, Clemson, East Carolina, Georgia, Nebraska, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, San Jose State, Southern California, Texas and Utah.