2009 September

Oregon’s Rout of California Earns Game of Week Nod

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During a weekend when three teams ranked in the Top 6 of the national polls were knocked off their lofty perches, one game emerged as the No. 1 choice according to the United States Sports Academy’s College Football Game of the Year selection committee.

Oregon’s 42-3 demolition of then sixth-ranked California was chosen by the Academy’s panel of experts as Week 4’s College Football Game of the Week. The Ducks dominated the Golden Bears in Eugene, as Jeremiah Masoli threw for 253 yards on 21 for 25 passing. Cal, perhaps caught looking ahead to this week’s showdown against USC, suffered its most lopsided loss of the Jeff Tedford era.

Don’t agree with what our experts selected? Email the Academy at games@ussa.edu and make your opinion known. Answers will be posted to our website.

Also receiving strong consideration was Iowa, which upset No. 5 Penn State 21-10 in Happy Valley. It was the second straight season in which Iowa handed Penn State its first loss of the season. This one came after Iowa trailed 10-0 in the first quarter. The third upset in the Top 6, South Carolina’s 16-10 victory over No. 4 Mississippi, also received consideration.

The College Football Game of the Year concept was developed by the Academy’s 2005 Sport Artist of the Year Daniel Moore, a well-known artist in Alabama for his paintings of legendary coach Bear Bryant and the Crimson Tide.

At the end of the season and bowl games, a final review of nominations will be prepared for consideration. The winning school receives a commemorative limited edition fine art print and a $5,000 donation for its general scholarship fund.

Academy Sponsoring Renowned Visiting Professor Dr. Peter Chen

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The United States Sports Academy is proud to bring Visiting Distinguished Professor Dr. Peter Chen to the Greater Mobile area for a series of public presentations 8-14 October.

Chen’s first scheduled appearance is 1:15 p.m. Friday, 9 October 2009 in the Academy’s main gallery at One Academy Drive in Daphne. The public is invited to join the Academy’s faculty, staff and students for the presentation.

The topic of Dr. Chen’s presentation is “Globalization and Transformation.” His message reminds us that, “We are citizens of the world, and it is important that we review and reflect our vision and mission often and to modify and change our ways of thinking regularly. Globalization and transformation help us to think not only locally and nationally but globally as well. We need to motivate and inspire ourselves to be more active, positive, optimistic and responsive to change for the betterment of our life as a whole.”

Dr. Chen, of New Zealand, is the Vice President for Oceania’s International Congress on Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Sport and Dance (ICHPER-SD). He was the gymnastics coach for Taiwan at the 1964 and 1968 Olympics Games in Tokyo and Mexico. He arrives in the Mobile area after previous visiting professor engagements at universities in Iowa and Michigan.

Academy President and CEO, Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich, and Dr. Chen, forged a friendship through their relationship with ICHPER-SD. Dr. Rosandich serves as the organization’s Director of Coaching. Both were recently keynote speakers during an ICHPER-SD conference in the Port of Spain in Trinidad and Tobago.

Dr. Chen is also scheduled for the following appearances:

  1. Fairhope Unitarian Fellowship, 1150 Fairhope Ave., 11 a.m. Sunday, 11 October
  2. Daphne/Spanish Fort Rotary Club, Homewood Inn & Suites of Daphne, 29456 N. Main Street, noon Monday, 12 October
  3. Daphne High School, 8 a.m. Tuesday, 13 October
  4. Fairhope High School, 10 a.m., Tuesday, 13 October
  5. Mobile Exchange Club/Eastern Shore Exchange Club, 601 Bel Air Blvd., Mobile, 6 p.m. Tuesday, 13 October

Academy Planning Sculpture Gift to City of Daphne

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Bring together local found object artist Bruce Larsen, known for molding scrap metal into masterpieces, and a mayor with a professional background in welding and fabricating, and the result will be a special gift to the City of Daphne from the United States Sports Academy.

The Academy receives tremendous support from Daphne and its mayor, Fred Small, a passed welder and supervisor for Chicago Bridge and Iron Company for whom he was employed for 17 years. It’s a union that has helped the Academy emerge as the largest freestanding sports university in the world. The city is behind the Academy’s efforts to develop its Sport Sculpture Park into a tourist destination, hoping to attract visitors from all over the world.

Larsen, the Academy’s 2009 Sport Artist of the Year for Sculpture, and Mayor Small will work together on the piece, which will be constructed in a new art studio located on the Academy’s campus. The piece will reflect the community and concept of the Academy’s American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) and the Sport Sculpture Park.

The artwork will reflect the community and concept of the Sport Sculpture Park. Its latest addition is Larsen’s basketball player, which will be named by the public through an international ballot. Voters can select from a list of 15 of the best basketball players of all time, or write in another player at http://ussa.edu/ballots/basketballplayer. The sculpture will be dedicated in the winning player’s honor.

Four Larsen works are part of the Sport Sculpture Park. In addition to the basketball player, Larsen’s works include: “Arnold the Weightlifter,” which honors actor, bodybuilder and current California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger; “Borzov the Sprinter,” a tribute to Russian Valery Borzov, a great technical sprinter who won the 100- and 200-meter dashes at the 1972 Olympics; and “Nastia the Gymnast,” named in honor of American Nastia Liukin, the all-around gold medalist at Beijing in 2008. Future plans include a number of sculptures that will celebrate various sports.

Academy Mourns Bernie Fuchs, 76, Sport Artist of the Year in 1991

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The Academy mourns the loss of Sport Artist Bernie Fuchs, who passed away from cancer 17 September 2009 at a care facility in Fairfield, Conn.

Fuchs was named the American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) Sport Artist of the Year in 1991. He was best known for his works in golf, auto racing and horse racing. He has also painted portraits of American Presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan as well as such notables as Martin Luther King Jr., Queen Elizabeth, Bob Hope, Katharine Hepburn, Arnold Palmer and Muhammad Ali.

Fuchs’ bio on the ASAMA website describes his style as “realistically detailed, and his fascination with sunlight and the way it illuminates and transforms objects into a multitude of soft colors also gives his work a modern-day Impressionistic look.”

Academy Unveils Sculptor Bruce Larsen’s Basketball Player

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The United States Sports Academy unveiled the latest addition to its Sport Sculpture Park on 22 September 2009, “The Basketball Player,” by Bruce Larsen, the Academy’s 2009 Sport Artist of the Year for Sculpture and a resident of nearby Fairhope.

Larsen, a Found Object artist who creates sculptures from materials such as driftwood, rusted appliances and pieces of metal, now has four pieces of work on display in the Academy’s Sport Sculpture Park. The others include “Arnold the Weightlifter,” “Borzov the Sprinter,” and “Nastia the Gymnast.”

The sculpture serves as a memorial to late Sport Artist Ernie Barnes, who passed away 27 April 2009. Barnes was the Academy’s first Sport Artist of the Year in 1984, and also won the award in 2004. He is the Academy’s only two-time winner. Barnes’ painting “High Aspirations” was Larsen’s inspiration for his work, which includes a long-legged basketball player shooting a ball into a basket.

The event also marked the kickoff of a worldwide balloting process to name the player. USA Today and NBC Sports have assisted the Academy in distributing the ballot to the world through their websites. A list of 15 NBA stars past and present, national and international has been selected. The winner of the balloting will have the sculpture dedicated in his honor. Voters may also write-in the name of another player if they choose. To vote, visit the Academy’s website at http://ussa.edu/ballots/basketball-player.

Future plans for the Sport Sculpture Park include the commissioning of more sculptures dedicated to other all-time greats from a variety of sports. Future sculptures and those they honor will be chosen based on worldwide balloting.

Washington Earns Nod as College Football Game of the Week

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Washington’s 16-13 upset of third-ranked USC on 19 September has been voted by the United States Sports Academy as College Football Game of the Week for Week 3.

Washington, only one season removed from the first 0-12 season in the history of the Pac-10 Conference, stunned USC with a late drive led by quarterback Jake Locker. Locker directed a 68-yard drive that culminated with a 22-yard field goal from Erik Folk with three seconds remaining. Washington is led by first-year coach Steve Sarkisian, who was a former USC assistant.

The Huskies’ stunning victory was the overwhelming choice by the Academy panel, which includes fifteen men with distinguished backgrounds in major college football. At the end of the season and bowl games a final review of nominations will be conducted to determine the Game of the Year.

The Academy’s College Football Game of the Year Committee encourages fans to pick against the experts, and submit their choices. Disagree with our nomination? Email games@ussa.edu to express your opinion.

Other Week 3 games that received consideration were Florida State’s 54-28 rout of BYU, Notre Dame’s 33-30 win over Michigan State and Virginia Tech’s 16-15 win over Nebraska.

The College Football Game of the Year concept was developed by the Academy’s 2005 Sport Artist of the Year, Daniel Moore, a well-known artist in Alabama for his paintings of legendary coach Bear Bryant and the Crimson Tide. Moore captures the spirit of the winning game each year with a painting.

Academy Mourns Passing of Dr. Myles Brand, 67, Roosevelt Medallion Award Recipient

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The Academy mourns the loss of Theodore Roosevelt Meritorious Achievement Award winner Dr. Myles Brand.

Brand, the NCAA president, died after a lengthy battle with pancreatic cancer on Wednesday, 16 September 2009, at the age of 67.

Brand was the first university president to lead college sports’ largest governing body. During his stint as NCAA president, Brand called on colleges and universities to improve the safety of college football. He also implemented and advocated sweeping reforms in the role of academics in college athletics.

The Theodore Roosevelt Meritorious Achievement Award is presented to an individual who has contributed to both sports and society for at least a quarter of a century.

Alumnus, Professor Emeritus Visit Campus

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United States Sports Academy President and CEO Thomas P. Rosandich, left, meets with Academy alumnus Saeed Al-Aradi and Professor Emeritus Dr. Frank Spechalske during a recent campus visit.

Al-Aradi works with the General Organization for Youth and Sports (GOYS) and is a coordinator for the Academy’s Certification in Sports Management program. Spechalske is the former Chair of Sports Management at the Academy.

Basketball Sculpture Arrives at New Home

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United States Sports Academy employees assist Bruce Larsen with the construction of “The Basketball Player” on campus.

A public unveiling of the statue will be 5 p.m. Tuesday, 22 September 2009, at the Academy. The public is welcome to attend. The Academy is also holding a worldwide ballot to help name the sculpture. Visit http://ussa.edu/ballots/basketball-player to vote.

The Press Register has a write up about the dedication at al.com, http://blog.al.com/entertainment-press-register/2009/09/us_sports_academy_will_dedicat.html.

Houston Win Earns Nod as Week 2’s College Football Game of the Week

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The University of Houston’s 45-35 upset of then fifth-ranked Oklahoma State has been voted by the United States Sports Academy as College Football Game of the Week for Week 2.

Houston clinched its first victory over a Top 5 team since an upset of third-ranked Texas in 1984. The Cougars clinched victory when quarterback Chase Keenum’s fourth-down pass was batted into the air but found the arms of running back Bryce Beall, who came down with it in the end zone for the go-ahead score. There was plenty of time remaining for the high-powered Cowboys offense to come back, but Jamal Robinson ended those hopes with a 26-yard interception return for a touchdown on a ball that first tipped off an Oklahoma State player.

Don’t agree with our experts? Email your thoughts to games@ussa.edu and we’ll include them on our website.

Finishing second was USC’s classic 18-15 victory at Ohio State. USC freshman Matt Barkley guided a 14-play, 86-yard drive that culminated with a Stafon Johnson run with 1:05 left for the victory.

Tying for third were Michigan and Central Michigan. The Wolverines beat Notre Dame 38-34 when freshman Tate Forcier capped a game-winning touchdown drive with 11 seconds remaining. Central Michigan stunned in-state rival Michigan State by scoring 10 points in the last 32 seconds.

The College Football Game of the Year concept was developed by the Academy’s 2005 Sport Artist of the Year, Daniel Moore, a well-known artist in Alabama for his paintings of legendary coach Bear Bryant and the Crimson Tide. Moore captures the spirit of the winning game each year with a painting. The 2008 Game of the Year, Texas Tech over Oklahoma, is shown with this story.

The Academy’s panel includes fifteen men with distinguished backgrounds in major college football. At the end of the season and bowl games a final review of nominations will be conducted to determine the Game of the Year.

Academy to Dedicate New Addition to Sculpture Park, Bruce Larsen’s “The Basketball Player”

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The United States Sports Academy is hosting a worldwide ballot to name the latest addition to its Sport Sculpture Park. Bruce Larsen’s newest sculpture, “The Basketball Player,” will be dedicated in a ceremony on the Academy campus in Daphne, Ala., at 5 p.m. Tuesday, 22 September 2009.

The painting “High Aspirations,” from late American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) Sport Artist of the Year Ernie Barnes, (1938-2009) is the inspiration behind Larsen’s “Basketball Player.” Barnes was ASAMA’s first Sport Artist of the Year in 1984. His painting depicts a tall, lean player attempting to dunk into a peach basket.

The Academy is inviting people to vote on the naming of the player on its website beginning 22 September through Thanksgiving Day, 26 November 2009. Voters will select one player from a list of 15 legends on the ballot or write in a different selection, giving the vote a “Sweet 16” flavor.

The list of players includes: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Larry Bird, Kobe Bryant, Wilt Chamberlain, LeBron James, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Michael Jordan, George Mikan, Yao Ming, Dirk Nowitzki, Hakeem Olajuwon, Oscar Robertson, David Robinson, Bill Russell, and Jerry West.

“The Basketball Player” is only the first of many additional projects planned for the Sport Sculpture Park. Tentative plans for the park include the commissioning of 13 or more sculptures depicting other all-time greats from a variety of sports. Worldwide balloting will also be held to name future sculptures.

The Academy is also providing sports fans and arts supporters the opportunity to participate in the project by purchasing bricks that will line the Academy’s “Walk of Fame,” which will connect the sculptures, or help form the bases for sculptures. Bricks can be purchased for $30 each or $50 for two. They offer a unique way to honor a loved one, family member, teammate, coach or friend. If you would like to add your name to our Walk of Fame, please complete the electronic form or contact: ASAMA, One Academy Drive, Daphne, Alabama 36526 (telephone number: 251-626-3303).

Sprinter Usain Bolt, Swimmer Jessica Hardy Earn Academy’s August Athlete of the Month Honors

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Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt and American swimmer Jessica Hardy were named Male and Female Athletes of the Month for August by the United States Sports Academy.

Bolt enhanced his reputation as the world’s fastest man at the Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) World Championships in Berlin, as he lowered his world-record times in the 100- and 200-meter dashes, each by .11 seconds. He won the 100 in 9.58 seconds and took the 200 in 19.19. He also added a gold medal in the 4X100 relay team, running a leg for a Jamaican team that finished in 37.31, just .21 seconds short of the world record the team set previously at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing. He previously set the 100 and 200 marks in Beijing.

Hardy broke the world record in the 100 breaststroke by nearly half a second at the 2009 U.S. Open National Championships. She finished the breaststroke in 1 minute, 4.45 seconds, lowering the old mark of 1:04.84 set by American Rebecca Soni at last month’s world championships. She also set a world record in the 50 breaststroke with a split of 29.95 seconds in a 100 backstroke time trial.

Finishing second to Bolt on the ballot was South Korean golfer Y.E. Yang, who became the first Asian man to win a major, upsetting Tiger Woods in the final round of the PGA Championship. Yang was ranked No. 110 in the world before his breakthrough win.

Finishing runner-up on the women’s ballot was Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva, who broke her own pole vault world record by one centimeter at 5.06 meters at the Golden League meet. She set her previous record of 5.05 at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. She has broken the world outdoor and indoor marks 27 times.

Ethiopian distance runner Kenenisa Bekele was third on the men’s ballot. Bekele became the first athlete to win the 5,000 and 10,000 meters in the same IAAF World Championships, duplicating a feat he achieved at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. The 10,000 win was Bekele’s fourth in the event at the world championships, having also won in 2003, 2005, and 2007.

Swimmer Kirsty Coventry of Zimbabwe finished third on the women’s ballot, as she regained the 200 backstroke world title with a time of 2:04.81 at the International Swimming Federation (FINA) World Championships.

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