Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times wins APSE Over 175K Explanatory contest

Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times took first place in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2014 contest in the Explanatory category in the Over 175,000 circulation category for his story on sexual assault and harassment allegations against the owner of an indoor soccer team.

Baker will be presented a first-place plaque at the 2015 APSE banquet. The banquet and awards dinner concludes the APSE Conference June 24-27 at The Westgate Hotel in San Diego, Calif.

Balloting by six APSE judges ranked Baker ahead of runners-up Mike Kaszuba and Rochelle Olson of the Star Tribune and third-place finisher Linda Robertson of the Miami Herald. The contest is open to APSE members. Click here to join.

Sports editors in the Over 175,000 circulation category submitted a total of 72 explanatory entries written or directed by APSE member sports departments in 2014. Contest chair and APSE second vice president Mary Byrne numbered each entry, assuring they had been stripped of headlines, graphics, bylines and any other element that would identify the writer or news organization.

In early February in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. preliminary judges selected a top 10 ranked, with each judge listing the stories in order from 1 to 10 separately on a secret ballot. The final 10 were given to a second judging group, which also ranked the entries 1-10 in the same fashion. The winner and final rankings are determined by tallying the ballots, giving a team 10 points for a first-place vote, nine points for second and so on down to one point for a 10th-place vote.

The top 10 is listed below with links to writers’ Twitter pages, APSE member websites and winning entries.

  1. Geoff Baker, The Seattle Times, 50 points, 3 first-place votes

Soccer-team owner accused of sexual assault, harassment

  1. Mike Kaszuba and Rochelle Olson, Star Tribune, 45 points, 1 first-place vote

NFL had a long, pricey and secret Super Bowl wish list for Minneapolis

  1. Linda Robertson, Miami Herald, 41 points, 2 first-place votes

Turbulent voyage: the Cuban baseball pipeline

What will become of baseball’s decline in Cuba? The field might open further in U.S.

  1. Max Olson, ESPN.com, 35 points

A single move, a Texas-sized ripple

  1. Frank Fitzpatrick, The Philadelphia Inquirer, 32 points

Insect could be latest threat to ash bats

(tie) 6. Declan Hill and Jeré Longman, The New York Times, 30 points

Fixed Soccer Matches Cast Shadow Over World Cup

(tie) 6. Gary Klein, Los Angeles Times, 30 points

For USC athletics, NCAA sanctions are ending, but effects remain

Pete Carroll continues to defend USC as sanctions come to end

Reggie Bush is a nonentity at USC

From USC to Langston, Mike Garrett is still all about winning

After major probation, USC’s compliance office among best in nation

Athletic Director Pat Haden speaks about USC sanctions and the future

Ex-USC assistant Todd McNair seeks vindication from Reggie Bush saga

USC’s basketball program is rebuilding after dealing with sanctions

  1. Jay Weaver, Miami Herald, 25 points

Field of schemes: How Alex Rodriguez’s world imploded with the steroids scandal

Alex Rodriguez and the fake-money-passing felon

When A-Rod met ‘Ugi’ — the supplier in Alex Rodriguez’s steroid use

  1. Erik Brady and Steve Berkowitz, USA TODAY Sports, 23 points

College football salaries: How Georgia’s Mark Richt makes millions

  1. Jim Baumbach, Newsday. 19 points

Special report: College football coaches’ salaries and perks are soaring

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