BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – Eastern Kentucky University has been named the recipient of the Ohio Valley Conference’s annual Institutional Sportsmanship Award.
Presented on Friday at the league’s annual Honors Brunch in Nashville, Tenn., the award goes to the Conference institution selected by its peers to have best exhibited the standards of sportsmanship and ethical conduct as outlined by the OVC and NCAA.
This marks the 10th time the Institutional Sportsmanship Award has been bestowed and the third time that Eastern Kentucky has won the honor. EKU also took home the award in the 2008-09 and 2009-10 schoolyears.
“Without sportsmanship there are truly no meaningful victories,” said Beth DeBauche, OVC Commissioner. “In receiving this prestigious honor other institutions are saying these teams and student-athletes compete with class, respect their opponents and value fair play. That is quite a compliment as those are all traits that will lead to true victories throughout the course of life.”
The award, which was implemented in August 2003, is one of three accolades bestowed by the Conference to honor sportsmanship. In 1998, the league established the Steve Hamilton Sportsmanship Award, presented annually to a male or female student-athlete of junior or senior standing who best exemplifies characteristics of the late Morehead State University student-athlete and athletics director by way of significant athletics performance and good sportsmanship and citizenship.
For the past eight years, the league has presented team-specific sportsmanship awards to programs at OVC member institutions based on the conduct of student-athletes, coaches, staff and administrators and fans, and voted on by the league’s coaches and student-athletes in each respective sport.
In 1995, the Ohio Valley Conference implemented a first-of-its-kind “Sportsmanship Statement,” a policy promoting principles of fair play, ethical conduct and respect for one’s opponent. The statement answered the challenge of the NCAA Presidents Commission to improve sportsmanship in collegiate athletics, and has become a model for others to follow across the nation.