From scholars to celebrities to athletes, Morgan State University has produced some of the best Black talent in the nation. Now, one of its sports greats is getting the honor of a lifetime. Read the release from MSU below to get the full story.
Morgan State alumnus, sports journalist and author, William C. Rhoden was one of a record seven men voted into the National Sports Media Association (NSMA) Hall of Fame on Monday, Jan. 11 in Winston-Salem, N.C. Joining Rhoden are fellow sportswriters, Larry Merchant, William Nack and Rick Telander and sportscasters Bill King, Jim Nantz, and Dick Stockton.
In addition, NSMA members voted Mike “Doc” Emrick as the 2020 national sportscaster of the year, and Nicole Auerbach as the 2020 national sportswriter of the year.
Among the 108 who won 2020 state sportscaster or sportswriter of the year honors, 51 are first-time winners. They include two who passed away during the year: Detroit sports talk show host Jamie Samuelsen and 100-year-old Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
A native of Chicago, Ill., Rhoden attended Morgan State University from 1968 to 1973. He was a member of the Bears’ 1968 team that beat Grambling in Yankee Stadium in the Whitney Young Classic. Rhoden also served as Morgan’s assistant sports information director while he was a student.
After graduating from Morgan with an undergraduate degree in speech communication, he worked for the Baltimore Afro-American, The Baltimore Sun and Ebony Magazine, where he became a columnist for the magazine from 1974-78. In 1983, Rhoden joined The New Times staff as a sports columnist where he wrote the popular column “Sports of The Times,” before his retirement in 2016.
In 2006, he published his first book, “Forty Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Black Athlete,” an analysis of prejudice and intolerance in American professional sports.
Rhoden is currently a writer and editor-at-large for ESPN’s The Undefeated. In addition to his work at The Undefeated, Rhoden assists the next generation of journalists as the head of a fellowship program named in his honor. The Rhoden Fellowship was established in 2017 and is sponsored by ESPN. The fellowship is a two-year program that trains aspiring African-American journalists from Historically Black Colleges and Universities and provides students with the opportunity to report new stories on their campuses through the production of multimedia content.
He was inducted into the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Hall of Fame in 2018.
Rhoden returned to The National Treasure for the University’s 143rd Spring Commencement ceremony and received an honorary doctorate on May 18, 2019.
The NSMA will honor Rhoden, along with the rest of its Hall of Fame inductees and winners during the organization’s 61st awards weekend, tentatively set for June 26-28, 2021, in Winston-Salem, N.C.
The NSMA contributed to this release.