Clemson Honored With CHAMPS Program Of Excellence Award

Sept. 28, 1999

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.