During last night’s Associated Press Sports Editors Banquet in Atlanta, ESPN.com writers Heather Dinich, Tom VanHaaren and Adam Rittenberg took top honors in the Investigative category for their work reporting on the culture of the University of Maryland football program brought to light following the death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair.
Front Row caught up with the honorees to get their reactions to the win:
It was never about us and still shouldn’t be, but to have our work recognized is a tremendous honor. There is simply no way that story would have been published if it weren’t for the collaborative effort – not just between Adam, Tom and I, but also the many veteran editors and investigative reporters on our staff who guided us along the way. — Heather Dinich, ESPN college reporter
The Maryland project was a true collaboration between ESPN.com writers and editors, and I am honored to share such a prestigious award with my outstanding colleagues. This story had unique challenges, from reporting to vetting to publishing, and required months of hard work and diligence from everyone involved. In my 11 years at ESPN, I am most proud of the work I have produced as part of a team. This project ranks at the very top of my list. — Adam Rittenberg, ESPN college reporter
Given the subject of our story, it’s difficult to celebrate an award, but it’s very humbling to be recognized for our work knowing the impact it made. It’s an outstanding honor for the teamwork and diligence put into this story from Adam, Heather, our editors and myself. I’m grateful our work is being recognized the way it is. — Tom VanHaaren, ESPN college reporter