Georgetown College has added celebrated sports journalist William F. “Billy” Reed to its team.
The national award-winning newspaper and magazine journalist, radio talk show host and author becomes the College’s second Executive Scholar-in-Residence. Former Gov. Martha Layne Collins (D-KY) was Georgetown’s first in 1998 and continues to serve the College in many advisory and friend-raising capacities.
Reed’s biggest boost to Georgetown College, perhaps, will be giving enhanced exposure to its new “Champions of Athletic Character” program. This is an initiative to create a learning environment that is suitable for character growth and leadership for all student-athletes, maintaining a realistic goal of scholarly athletic success. (For more, visit)
“Throughout my career as a columnist and commentator, I’ve always tried to stand up for those individuals and institutions who play by the rules and conduct their business with honor and integrity, so I see my work at Georgetown College as a continuation of that lifelong mission,” said Reed, who may best known in Kentucky for his years as a sportswriter, then sports editor at the Louisville Courier-Journal, and later as sports columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader.
“President (Bill) Crouch shares my concern about the moral and ethical crisis that seems to be growing in both the sports and media worlds, and I’m hoping we can address those issues in a significant, but not self-righteous, way,” added Reed, who also spent a distinguished 30 years as a writer with Sports Illustrated.
President Crouch is also expecting Reed to be a valuable resource in assisting the College with special fund-raising efforts and events, acting as a liaison to the state’s legislature, and speaking at events and to classes.
During Reed’s first three official days on the Georgetown-beat he conducted a successful Sports Journalism Workshop for aspiring high school writers. He hopes this “trial run” day-camp held during the NFL Cincinnati Bengals Summer Training Camp here becomes an annual opportunity.
Meanwhile, Dean of Students Todd Gambill is particularly excited that Reed’s coming on board should impact the whole student body as well as all varsity athletes who wear the Orange and Black of Georgetown. Gambill is also the College’s Vice President of Student Life and has oversight of the Athletics Department.
“Few institutions can boast a relationship with a journalist of Billy Reed’s pedigree. His relationship with Georgetown College will offer our students and the College a wealth of expertise, experience and networking opportunities,” Dr. Gambill said.
Jim Host, former chairman and CEO of Host Communications (now IMG) and founding chairman of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, knows Georgetown College has scored a major coup. “Georgetown is fortunate to have one of the truly great writers in the history of College Sports,” said Host, current chairman of the Louisville Arena Authority, Inc., which is overseeing the new KFC Yum! Center. “As a member of the U.S. Basketball Writers Hall of Fame, he will go down as a real legend in the annals of sports writing.”
As a matter of fact, Billy Reed – a native of Mount Sterling and 1966 graduate of Transylvania University (B.A., English) – is a legend in the Commonwealth. He is in both the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame and the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame. And, in a state that loves its horses, Reed has won three Eclipse Awards for outstanding thoroughbred racing coverage and eight Red Smith Awards for Kentucky Derby Coverage.
Reed is also the author of 18 books. His latest – Louisville’s KFC Yum! Center – will be in bookstores soon after the Oct. 14 grand opening of the new Louisville arena. Last year, he came out with a wonderful tribute to Louisville’s famous venue – Celebrating 54 Years at Freedom Hall: Great Events and Memorable Moments at One of America’s Premier Arenas.
Besides his work with Georgetown College, Reed will continue writing a monthly column for Basketball Times and consulting for a new website, Catholicsportsnet.com.