By Mike Sherman, APSE First Vice President/Contest Chair

The New York Daily News team of Teri Thompson, Nathaniel Vinton, Michael O'Keeffe, Christian Red and Bill Madden won the Associated Press Sports Editors Investigative award for their stories on the federal and Major League Baseball investigations into Alex Rodriguez and Biogenesis.

The Daily News team, which received four of six first-place votes from APSE judges, will be presented a first-place plaque at the 2014 APSE Banquet June 28 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Va.

The Los Angeles Times team of Ken Bensinger, Armand Emamdjomeh and Maloy Moore placed second for uncovering that thousands of professional athletes from around the country are “seeking medical care or money through California’s workers compensation system for injuries for brain trauma and other injuries suffered on the playing field.”

Dan Kane of the News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C., was third for his investigation of a former University of North Carolina professor at the center of an academic fraud scandal who had close ties to the UNC football program.

The top 10 is listed below with links to each writers’ Twitter pages and entries.

Sports editors submitted 31  Investigative entries. Contest catchers 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 March, preliminary judges at the APSE Winter Conference in Indianapolis selected a top 10, with each judge ranking the entries in order from 1 to 10 separately on a secret ballot. Entries were given 10 points for a first-place vote, nine points for second and so on down to 1 point for a 10th-place vote. The final 10 were given to a second judging group, which ranked the entries 1-10 in the same fashion. The winner and final rankings are determined by tallying the ballots.

Investigative entries can be a single article or series. They are judged based on enterprise, initiative, documentation, resourcefulness and original reporting in uncovering newsworthy and significant facts and developments that otherwise might not have been reported. Judges are encouraged to consider impact and aftermath of the work, which can be detailed in a cover letter.

The contest is open to APSE members. Go to this link to join.

2013 APSE Contest: Investigative (all circulation categories)

(First-place votes in parentheses)

1. Teri Thompson, Nathaniel Vinton, Michael O'Keeffe, Christian Red and Bill Madden, New York Daily News (4), 59 points

Feds, MLB probe adviser, who has worked closely with Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez, for possible performance-enhancing drugs link

Source: At least 20 MLB players linked to Anthony Bosch who is target of probe into illegal distribution of HGH and testosterone

Alex Rodriguez suspension expected Sunday or Monday, and his options are a lifetime ban or 200-game suspension

If Yankees' Alex Rodriguez is willing to fight suspension, he'd better prepare for dirty details to get out

Alex Rodriguez's dirty secret! Yankees slugger sought performance help in hush-hush meet with reformed BALCO kingpin Victor Conte

What does Alex Rodriguez hope to accomplish by following Lance Armstrong's legal blueprint?

Turbulent offseason continues for Yankees' Alex Rodriguez, as MLB investigators still looking into Dr. Anthony Galea's PED operation

Alex Rodriguez lawyer nearly fights Anthony Bosch's attorney at MLB offices

Biogenesis records that link MLB players to PEDs are for sale to highest bidder

Alex Rodriguez walks out of MLB’s arbitration hearing, slams Bud Selig on Mike Francesa's radio show

Sources: Alex Rodriguez bought Biogenesis documents as MLB probe into latest doping scandal intensifies

Police arrest man, 20, in connection with car break-in at center of Biogenesis scandal

Yankees' Alex Rodriguez may be obstructing Biogenesis probe

MLB done talking with Alex Rodriguez, who faces 214-game ban on Monday after latest outburst

Bernard Kerik, the disgraced former NYPD commissioner, accuses attorney Joe Tacopina of fraud, deceit, misrepresentation and list of other legal abuses  

2. Ken Bensinger, Armand Emamdjomeh and Maloy Moore, Los Angeles Times, (1), 49 points

Brain injuries a big problem for NFL in California

Injury claims by professional football players (includes tabs for MLB, NBA, WNBA, NHL, MLS)

NFL dodges a bullet in proposed concussion settlement

California limits workers' comp sports injury claims

State panel rejected injury claim by NFL's Dorsett

3. Dan Kane, The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.), (1), 43 points

Former UNC African studies chairman had close ties to athletic counselors

UNC faculty leader pushed rewrite of key report to keep NCAA away

NCAA unlikely to punish UNC for academic fraud, new documents show

Former UNC-CH African studies chairman indicted by grand jury

6 reviews and investigations have looked into UNC African studies department

No makeup offered for many suspected 'no-show' classes at UNC-CH

4. Rand Getlin and Charles Robinson, Yahoo! Sports, 42 points

Documents, text messages reveal impermissible benefits to five SEC players

5. Craig Wolff, The Star-Ledger (Newark, N.J.), 41 points

Rutgers' new athletic director faces fresh questions about her past

Rutgers president Robert Barchi stands behind hiring of Julie Hermann

Chris Christie on Julie Hermann situation: 'Let Rutgers handle it'

Response to Julie Hermann allegations infuriates ex-Tennessee players

Embattled Julie Hermann says she's up to the task of being Rutgers A.D.

6. Scott M. Reid, The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.), 38 points

Documents detail allegations of swim-coach impropriety

O.C. swim coach banned for life; other coach resigns

Documents reveal brevity of investigation into swim coach

Golden West president recharacterizes view of swim investigation

Catholic group aims lobbying effort at sex-abuse case window

Jewell given 3-year ban by USA Swimming

USA Swimming hires lobbying firm to fight bill

USA Swimming works to contain sex-abuse scandals

7. Steve Eder, Richard Sandomir and James Andrew Miller, The New York Times, 37 points

College Football’s Most Dominant Player? It’s ESPN

At Louisville, Athletic Boom Is Rooted in ESPN Partnership

To Protect Its Empire, ESPN Stays on Offense

8. Bob Hohler, The Boston Globe, 36 points

The concussion doctor’s tangled interests

The concussion doctor’s connections

9. Philip Hersh and Jared Hopkins, Chicago Tribune, 22 points

On thin ice

6 skaters demand USS Speedskating reorganization

Speedskating director Greenwald stepping down

US Speedskating revamps bylaws

10. Brent Schrotenboer, USA TODAY Sports, 18 points

USA TODAY Sports investigation: Holes in stadium security

(Mike Sherman, APSE first vice president and contest chair, is sports editor of The Oklahoman. Email him at, follow him at @MikeSherman or call 405-475-3164.)