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University News

Professor Named to College Football Selection Committee

Kelly Whiteside, renowned sports journalist, will serve as only media member of prestigious national group

Posted in: Athletics, Communication and Media

This fall, a Red Hawk will be helping decide which college football teams play for the national championship.

Montclair State University Associate Professor Kelly Whiteside has been named to the College Football Selection Committee – the body responsible for selecting the top 25 NCAA Division I teams in the nation and the four teams who vie for the national title in the annual College Football Playoff – for a three-year term, the organization announced January 25.

She joins a group of 12 other members from around the country, including current Division I athletic directors, former coaches and former players, and will serve as the only media member on the committee.

Prior to joining the faculty at Montclair, Whiteside spent 14 years at USA Today as the national college football writer and also specialized in covering the Olympics and World Cup. She has covered seven Olympic Games, nine World Cups (men’s and women’s) as well as the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL and multiple college sports. She was also the first female president of the Football Writers Association of America. Prior to joining USA Today, she was a reporter at Newsday and a staff writer at Sports Illustrated.

“I’m thrilled to be a member of the College Football Selection Committee,” says Whiteside. “I’ve spent a big part of my life covering college sports across the country, and the opportunity to bring that experience into the classroom is exciting. With our new Sports Communication major, and our talented and diverse students, Montclair State should be a destination for any student wanting to pursue sports media.”

Whiteside oversees Montclair’s new bachelor’s program in Sports Communication, which introduces students to diverse careers in the ever-changing, fast-paced industry of sports media while preparing them as writers, producers, and directors of dynamic media content.

The major delivers hands-on experience in sports media production and storytelling, from broadcast content, analytics, play-by-play opportunities, radio and digital news writing, to public relations and social media – done in partnership with Red Hawk Athletics and broadcast via the University’s own Red Hawk Sports Network.

“Professor Whiteside is an outstanding addition to the College Football Playoff Committee, and she will bring years of top expertise and insight to the role,” says School of Communication and Media Director Keith Strudler. “Our School and our students are very fortunate to have someone of her talent and distinction leading our growing sports communication program.”

For more information on Montclair State University’s Sports Communication major, visit the program’s website.