2017 Investigative Reporting for Print/Online (Large Staff) Finalist: Claudia Rowe

Claudia Rowe | The Seattle Times

“Coaches’ Use of Homeless Athletes Draws Scrutiny”

About the Entry

A tip from a source led Claudia Rowe of The Seattle Times to discover that some high school sports officials appeared to be trying to improve their teams by gaming protections for homeless students — getting star athletes to declare themselves homeless so that they’d be able to transfer and play immediately.

Comments from the Judges

“This is an example of classic investigative reporting. What started as a tip about two students turned into a story about widespread exploitation of homeless high school athletes. Excellent sourcing was the cornerstone of this story. Compelling storytelling holds readers’ attention to the end.”

“Original — I had never heard of this loophole and found it extremely compelling. Great impact: In the wake of her coverage, Seattle Public Schools overhauled its methods for identifying and overseeing education of homeless youth.”