Clemson Honored with CHAMPS Program of Excellence Award


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Dallas, TX--Six of the nation's leading collegiate sports programs
were honored for their accomplishments and commitment to their student athletes at the
Athletic Director's Association annual meeting in Dallas on Monday evening.


Division 1A giants University of Alabama, University of Georgia, University of
Kentucky, University of Tennessee, Clemson University and Georgia Tech received the
CHAMPS Program of Excellence Award from the 1A Athletic Directors' Association.


"This award is testimony to the emphasis our coaches and student athletes put on
this program," said Clemson Athletic Director Bobby Robinson. "Bill D'Andrea and
his staff at Vickery Hall deserve a great deal of credit for their tireless work and
innovation in this area."


The 1A CHAMPS award honors universities that have dedicated staff, financial resources,
and creative energies to improve the total college experience for their student athletes.
The CHAMPS program was created in 1992 as an initiative that assures that its schools are
not, "using and discarding" student athletes, but rather are generating
productive citizens in our society.


"Student athletes attend college to excel in life, not just sports," said
Gene Hooks, Director, 1A Directors' CHAMPS/Life Skills Program." Athletic programs
today must focus on the total person, not just the athlete. The 1A CHAMPS Program provides
the tools and opportunities needed to develop well-rounded student athletes who are
prepared for life during and after their college careers. It is our goal to remove the old
stigma of 'using and discarding' athletes. A good CHAMPS program gives every student
athlete an opportunity to excel in life."


The award recognizes these universities as lifetime Programs of Excellence. They join
the 1997 winners - North Carolina State, The Ohio State University, University of Arizona,
University of Texas and the 1998 winners - Florida State University, Penn State
University, Syracuse University, University of Florida, University of Nebraska, University
of Oklahoma and University of Washington - as the nation's most innovative universities
committed to the well being of student athletes.


All CHAMPS/Life Skills initiatives, active on 98 percent of Division 1A campuses, build
their programs around five commitments: Academic Excellence, Athletic excellence, Personal
Development, Community Service and Career Development. The Program of Excellence provides
a CHAMPS model that is centered around the well being of the student athlete and any
school that is honored with the award has demonstrated a total commitment to their student
athletes in all five areas.


Winning schools have instituted such initiatives as speaker's bureaus, tutorial
programs, issues seminars, career exploration days, freshman enrichment programs, minority
monitoring events, financial management seminars and community service training. Many of
these programs provide student athletes experiences and training that are not normally
available to them in their university curriculum or services.


The 1A Athletic Directors' Association is an association that includes the athletic
directors at all of the 114 Division 1A schools. Its mission is a commitment to the well
being of the student athlete. The CHAMPS program serves as a compass for fulfilling that
mission. The CHAMPS Program of Excellence is designed to honor those schools who have made
a total commitment to the CHAMPS model.

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