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ESPN personalities Sage Steele (left) and Gene Wojciechowski (center) discuss the future of sports journalism with Bob Kravitz (right) of The Indianapolis Star. The three were joined by Steve Lavin of ESPN and ABC-TV (not pictured) on a panel moderated by Tim Franklin of the new IU National Sports Journalism Center, based at IUPUI.

TV stars launch sports journalism center

It hasn't taken long for the fledgling National Sports Journalism Center to make its mark on the sports news business.

The Indiana University center was launched by a March panel discussion featuring several ESPN stars and later became the first official home of the Associated Press Sports Editors (APSE) organization.

APSE will establish its headquarters in the Informatics and Communications Technology Complex, home of the National Sports Journalism Center and the School of Journalism at IUPUI. The organization includes most top print and online sports news executives in the country among its more than 550 members.

The APSE headquarters will feature a Hall of Fame in the new Student Media Center on the IUPUI campus. The hall will honor winners of the prestigious "Red Smith Award" for lifetime achievement in sports journalism. The Smith Award was launched in 1981 and is widely regarded as the top honor in sports journalism. Past winners include Smith, Dick Schaap, Jim Murray, Shirley Povich, Bud Collins and Dave Kindred.

Among the ESPN personalities on hand for the premier event were School of Journalism alumna Sage Steele, plus Gene Wojciechowski and Steve Lavin (also of ABC Sports and former coach of the NCAA men's basketball tournament champion UCLA Bruins).

The center, headed by School of Journalism graduate Tim Franklin, offers students access to internships at such organizations as ESPN, MLB. com, Associated Press, the Big Ten Network and the Chicago Tribune.