Jeff Benedict & Associates LLC on 02 May 2011

SVU INTERNS WORK ON SPORTS ILLUSTRATED COVER STORY

by Jeff Benedict

SVU INTERNS WORK ON SPORTS ILLUSTRATED COVER STORY

March 2, 2011Buena Vista, VA

The cover story of this week's edition of Sports Illustrated was co-written by Jeff Benedict and Pulitzer Prize winning writer George Dohrmann. It's the result of an unprecedented six-month investigation by Sports Illustrated and CBS News, which performed criminal background checks on all 2,837 players on SI's 2010 preseason Top 25 poll. A special report on the investigation will air tonight on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric. And additional articles and video are at SI.com and CBS.com

Two Southern Virginia University students worked on the SI-CBS project. Senior Jeffrey Gasser was a lead researcher and earned a byline in the cover story as a special reporter. " Jeff Gasser showed a remarkable ability to grasp the complexity of the research and reporting for this project and did an outstanding job," said Sports Illustrated Executive Editor B.J. Schecter. "He was an invaluable member of the team and has a bright future ahead of him."

Gasser has been Benedict's personal research assistant for nine months and was tapped to work on the college football and crime story last fall. The opportunity required him to work closely with senior journalists at CBS News. "This project would simply have not been possible without the dogged persistence and intellectual curiousity of Jeff Gasser," said Armen Keteyian, chief investigative correspondent for the CBS Evening News. "He is just the kind of aspiring young journalist our profession needs."

It's rare for a college student to receive a byline in Sports Illustrated. But Benedict, Schecter and Keteyian felt he earned it. "Very few students have the maturity and drive that Jeff possesses," said Benedict. "Early on he established himself as a colleague and vital part of our team."

Another SVU student -- J.J. Feinauer -- also worked on this project and earned a byline in the feature story published at SI.com. "JJ is the youngest intern I've ever hired," said Benedict. "But he was a great addition to the project and played an integral part in maintaining hundreds of case files."

Feinauer, a junior, became Benedict's personal assistant shortly after the SI-CBS project got underway. He and Gasser are also working on a book with Benedict, as well as a television documentary.