By Jeff Rosen

APSE First Vice President

Patrick Hruby of Vice Sports won first place for Explanatory Writing in the Associated Press Sports Editors 2016 contest’s Over-175,000 circulation category.

Hruby won for a piece entitled Four years a student-athlete: The racial injustice of big-time college sports. He will be presented a first-place plaque at the 2017 APSE banquet in June. The banquet and awards dinner concludes the APSE Summer Conference in New Orleans.

Placing second in the Explanatory category were Joe Drape and Marc Tracy of the New York Times. Bill Pennington of the Times was third.

Sports editors submitted a total of 48 entries in the large-organization Explanatory category this year. The contest is open to APSE members. Click here to join.

Contest chair Jeff Rosen and fellow APSE officers Tommy Deas, John Bednarowski and Robert Gagliardi 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 February, preliminary judges at the APSE Winter Conference in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., and off-site around the country selected a top 10 in this category, 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 one point for a 10th-place vote. The final 10 were then given to a second judging group, which ranked the entries 1-10 in the same fashion. The winner and final rankings were determined by tallying the two sets of ballots.

The winners in each category will receive a plaque at the 2017 APSE Summer Conference at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans June 26-29. The second- through 10th-place entrants will receive frameable certificates. (Click here to register for the conference.)

Explanatory stories include trends, issues and original ideas. They shed new light on issues and personalities in the news. They are more than the feature and less than the project entry. They go beyond the “yesterday” of the breaking news story.

Here is the top 10, with links to writers’ Twitter pages (where applicable), APSE member websites and winning entries.

1- Patrick Hruby, Vice Sports, 51 points, two first-place votes

Four years a student-athlete: The racial injustice of big-time college sports

2- Joe Drape and Marc Tracy, New York Times, 46 points, two-first-place votes

A Majority Agreed She Was Raped by a Stanford Football Player. That Wasn’t Enough.

3- Bill Pennington, New York Times, 43 points, one first-place vote

The Trusted Grown-Ups Who Steal Millions From Youth Sports

When ‘Everyone’s Grandma’ Is the Town’s Little League Thief

4- Corbett Smith, Dallas Morning News, 40 points

Texas high school football’s latest arms race: multimillion-dollar indoor practice facilities

5- Dave Sheinin, Washington Post, 37 points

How Katie Ledecky became better at swimming than anyone is at anything

6- Kent Babb and Steven Rich, Washington Post, 34 points, one first-place vote

A quietly escalating issue for the NFL: Fan violence and how to contain it

7- Don Van Natta Jr., ESPN, 29 points

Welcome to the Big Time

8- Thomas Bassinger and Nathaniel Lash, Tampa Bay Times, 27 points

Analysis: The Bucs have an awful draft record; here’s the data to prove it

9- Ian Frisch, Vice Sports, 14 points

Breaking Kayfabe: An inside look at WWE’s unlikely business empire

10- Joe Smith, Tampa Bay Times, 9 points

Tax tricks: How an $8.5M Lightning contract keeping Steven Stamkos in Tampa is better than $10.5M to leave