Daily Star reporters win Pulitzer Prize

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Daily Star reporters win Pulitzer Prize - Star's Lowe, Hallas win Pulitzer Prize By PAUL...
Star's Lowe, Hallas win Pulitzer Prize By PAUL TURNER The Arizona Dally Star Arizona Daily Star investigative reporters Bob Lowe and Clark Hallas have been awarded a 1981 Pulitzer Prize for their work in exposing alleged misuse of funds by a former University of Arizona head football coach and six of his assistants. Lowe and Hallas were named yesterday as.recipients of the 1981 prize for special local reporting. News of the award was met with a standing ovation in the Star newsroom. "How sweet it is," said Executive Editor William J. Woestendiek. The pair's look at financial practices within the UA football program, which initially reaped more criticism than praise, resulted in the indictment of Tony Mason, his assistants and an airline employee on 88 charges involving false travel vouchers. The coaches have been accused of bilking the UA out of about $13,000. The Pulitzer jury praised Lowe and Hallas for "an attack upon a Southern Arizona institution no one had ever dared threaten the sports department of the University of Arizona." As champagne corks popped nearby, both reporters expressed surprise. "I never thought we had a shot," Hallas said. "To beat the best newspapers in the country . . . it's a tribute to the entire staff, Lowe and Hallas particularly," Woestendiek said. "I'm damned proud of them." Inspired in part by reports of wrongdoing within the Arizona State University athletic program, the two Tucson reporters began their UA investigation in November 1979. At first, Hallas said, there was little indication that the newspaper's investigation would become a long-term project. But the digging went deeper, Lowe explained, when some answers provided by UA officials regarding possible National Collegiate Athletic Association violations and financial irregularities within the football program seemed questionable. In addition to the airline-ticket irregularities, Lowe and Hallas revealed that three athletes and the wife of one of them apparently were hired by the city for work they never did, and other athletes were sent to community colleges for courses they never attended. As word spread that Lowe and Hallas had been honored by the Pulitzer panel, their phones began ringing with congratulations from across the country. In between the calls, Lowe managed to make one of his own. "My mother started screaming when she heard," he said. But it wasn't always handshakes and pats on the back for the two newsmen. When their storiebegan appearing in January of 1980, some influential Tuc-sonans urged the newspaper to discontinue its scrutiny of the popular coach. UA-alumni accused the reporters of carrying out a vendetta against the university. "We were out there all alone on a limb, with a lot of people ready to saw us off," Woestendiek said. Even other news media in Tucson assailed the Lowe and Hallas investigation in its early stages, saying the two were "out to get" Mason. Threats were made against the reporters, and at one point, it was hinted they were suspects in burglaries at the football (See STAR'S, Page 9A)

Clipped from
  1. Arizona Daily Star,
  2. 14 Apr 1981, Tue,
  3. Main Edition,
  4. Page 1

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  • Daily Star reporters win Pulitzer Prize

    staff_reporter – 06 Jul 2017

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