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Indianapolis News Sports Writer and Editor Wayne Fuson Dies

September 30, 1996

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ Wayne Fuson, sports editor of The Indianapolis News for more than three decades and one of the driving forces behind bringing pro basketball to Indiana, died Monday at age 71.

Fuson came to The News in 1948, became associate sports editor in 1961 and sports editor in 1964. When The News and The Indianapolis Star merged staffs last year, Fuson was named sports columnist for The News and was still working as recently as last Friday.

He was a founder and former president of The Associated Press Sports Editors association.

A native of Terre Haute, Ind., Fuson attended Indiana State University and came to The News after working at the Terre Haute Star. He received an honorary doctorate from Indiana State in 1987.

His career took him to events throughout the country and earned him the respect and friendship of many of the biggest names in sports.

``I am very saddened,″ Indiana basketball coach Bob Knight said. ``I thoroughly enjoyed my friendship with him. We spent a lot of time not just on questions and answers, but we had many discussions on a wide variety of topics.

``Wayne’s columns were always a great source of information, and those who either knew him personally or through his column know they have lost a great friend,″ Knight said.

Fuson’s ``Time Out!″ column appeared in The News five days a week and covered a variety of sports, including the Super Bowl, World Series, boxing, the Olympics, golf and auto racing.

Fuson was among the people who campaigned to bring professional basketball to Indianapolis, an effort that paid off when the Indiana Pacers were formed in 1967 as one of the original members of the old American Basketball Association.

``Wayne was one of the most respected newspapermen in the sports industry,″ Pacers president Donnie Walsh said. ``He had a long and successful career. ... He will be sorely missed.″

Fuson also was instrumental in the founding of the National Golf Writers Association and the Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters of America. He was among the founders of the AP sports editors group and served as president of the national APSE association in 1979.

He is survived by his wife, Carolyn, daughter Bonnie Smith, sons Wayne Jr., Jay and Craig and 11 grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements at Flanner & Buchanan Mortuary in Lawrence were pending.

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