2009 October

Week 8 Clemson-Miami Thriller Tops Academy’s List for College Football’s Best

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Clemson’s football team trailed seven times during its Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) football game at Miami in Week 8 and still won.

The panel of experts who make up the selection committee to determine the United States Sports Academy’s College Football Game of the Year noticed the impressive catalog of comebacks. The group, which includes Hall of Fame coaches, overwhelmingly chose Clemson’s wild win as Week 8’s best game.

Other games given consideration by the committee included last-second victories by Alabama, which needed to block a last-second field goal to beat visiting Tennessee, 12-10; and Iowa, which beat Michigan State on the road on the final play of the game, 15-13.

Did you feel a different game was worthy of being chosen? Disagree with our expert panel? If so, email games@ussa.edu and let us know your thoughts.

Clemson quarterback Kyle Parker threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to Jacoby Ford on the final play of overtime to give the Tigers a crazy 40-37 victory on 24 October 2009. Clemson’s win essentially eliminated the Hurricanes from national title consideration and gave the Tigers (4-3, 3-2 ACC) their first road victory against a Top 10 foe in more than eight years.

The game featured 12 lead changes and a record-setting performance from Clemson running back C.J. Spiller, who finished with a school-record 310 all-purpose yards, including a 90-yard kickoff return and another long TD catch. It was only the second loss since 1985 for Miami (5-2, 2-2 ACC) when scoring 37 or more points in a game.

The College Football Game of the Year concept was developed by Daniel Moore, the Academy’s 2005 Sport Artist of the Year. Moore is 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.

The Academy’s expert panel includes such former esteemed coaches as Hall of Fame coaches Vince Dooley from Georgia and Jack Lengyel, the coach at Marshall University after a plane crash claimed the lives of 75 team members and coaching staff in 1970.

Academy Accepting Donations for U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Foundation’s “Toys for Tots” Program

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United States Sports Academy President, founder and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich poses with members of the U.S. Marines Corps Reserves during a past Toys for Tots event.

The United States Sports Academy and the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Foundation are teaming up for the 15th year to help underprivileged children enjoy a memorable Christmas.

Long considered the region’s largest collection center for the Toys for Tots program, local residents may bring donations to the Academy each Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Toys should be delivered to the Christmas tree in the main lobby of the Academy at One Academy Drive in Daphne.

The Toys for Tots program was founded in 1947 by Marine Corps Maj. William L. Hendricks, when Hendricks and a group of Marine Reservists in Los Angeles first collected and distributed 5,000 toys to needy children.

The Academy encourages schools, clubs, associations and businesses in the area to drop off their new, unwrapped toys and help assist those who need it most this time of year. All toys that are dropped off at the Academy will be distributed to children in Baldwin County.

“The most wonderful thing to see are schoolchildren coming by bus to give gifts to other children,” said Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich, the president, founder and CEO of the Academy, and a former U.S. Marine.

More than 400 million toys have been distributed to 188 million needy children since the inception of the Toys for Tots.

Hooton Presented Distinguished Service Award for Fight Against Steroids

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Dr. Donn C. Renwick, left, a member of the Academy’s distance learning faculty, presents Mr. Don Hooton with a Distinguished Service Award.

Don Hooton received a Distinguished Service Award from the United States Sports Academy recently.

Hooton was noted for his work to raise awareness of high school students’ growing willingness to use anabolic steroids. Hooton lost his 16-year-old son to depression after using the dangerous substances. That experience led him to establish the Taylor Hooton Foundation.

Hooton’s efforts inspired the Texas Senate to put into legislation mandatory steroid screening in Texas public schools.

Dr. Donn C. Renwick presented Hooton with his Distinguished Service Award in front of 100 people at the Taylor Hooton Foundation Golf Tournament.

Two Tie for Week 7 College Football Game of the Week Honors

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Week 7 of the college football season left the United States Sports Academy’s Game of the Year selection committee fit to be tied.

A Big Ten Conference upset and a late rally by a national championship contender shared the honors for Week 7’s College Football Game of the Week. Florida’s 23-20 escape at home against Arkansas and Purdue’s stunning 26-18 win over Ohio State each lay claim to the week’s honor.

There were many great games during Week 7. Do you have another choice that is more worthy? Make your opinions known by picking against the experts at games@ussa.edu. Three other games also received serious consideration: Georgia Tech’s win over Virginia Tech, Colorado’s win over Kansas and USC’s win over Notre Dame.

National champion and top-ranked Florida extended its winning streak to 16 games with its late rally over pesky Arkansas. The Gators trailed 20-13 in the fourth quarter but rallied to win, capping the comeback with a 27-yard field goal by Caleb Sturgis with nine seconds remaining.

Purdue knocked Ohio State out of the national championship discussion with its surprising win over Ohio State. It was the Buckeyes’ first loss to an unranked team since 2007 and Purdue’s second win of the year. Purdue quarterback Joey Elliott threw for 281 yards and had two touchdown passes.

The College Football Game of the Year concept was developed by Daniel Moore, the Academy’s 2005 Sport Artist of the Year. Moore is 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.

Hutchinson, former Stringer Award winner, announces retirement

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Jan Hutchinson

Bloomsburg (Pa.) University softball and field hockey coach Jan Hutchinson, a past winner of the United States Sports Academy’s C. Vivian Stringer Coaching Award, has announced her retirement effective at the end of the 2010 softball season.

Hutchinson is in her 32nd season at Bloomsburg, where she has won a combined 1,747 games in field hockey and softball. She has won 15 national championships and 16 conference titles in her 28 years as a field hockey coach. She is the all-time leader in career wins for National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division II schools. Her teams have made 27 straight trips to the NCAA Tournament.

Hutchinson embodies the spirit of the C. Vivian Stringer Award, which is presented to a woman for outstanding achievements as a coach. The winner should exhibit a high standard of professionalism, imagination and innovation as a character-builder in the tradition of great teacher-coaches. Hutchinson won the award in 2006.

The Academy presents its Awards of Sport each year to pay tribute to those who have made significant contributions to sport, in categories as diverse as the artist and the athlete in several different arenas of sport.

Academy Panel Chooses Arkansas Win as Top Game

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Arkansas putting an end to the undefeated season of Auburn University was the top Week 6 nominee for the United States Sports Academy’s College Football Game of the Year.

Arkansas’ high-powered offense did its job and its much-maligned defense held Auburn long enough to guarantee a victory in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) game at Fayetteville. Arkansas rolled to a 27-3 halftime lead, and overcame a late third-quarter rally by Auburn to win 44-23.

Arkansas was led by running back Michael Smith’s 145 yards rushing and a 274-yard passing day by quarterback Ryan Mallett.

Three other games also earned significant consideration this week: Georgia Tech outscored Florida State in Tallahassee, 49-44; No. 1 Florida shut down No. 4 LSU 13-3 in an SEC defensive battle; and Duke beat N.C. State 49-28 for its first Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) road victory in almost six years.

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.

We know college football fans have strong opinions about their favorite teams. That’s why the Academy is encouraging fans to pick against our panel of experts by emailing games@ussa.edu to let us know your thoughts on the college season’s best games.

Academy Faculty Member Price Honored

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Faculty member William Price received a Certificate of Merit from the United States Sports Academy. He is shown here with Dean of Academic Affairs, Dr. Arthur Ogden.

Price was recognized for his consistent good rapport with students who cite him repeatedly for his encouragement and leadership in their end-of-course surveys.

Price’s approach to students exemplifies the ideals the Academy holds in developing solid educational bonds between professors and their students.

NFL’s Brees, Basketball’s Taurasi Earn Academy’s September Athletes of the Month Honor

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National Football League (NFL) star quarterback Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints and Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) star Diana Taurasi were named Male and Female Athletes of the Month for September by the United States Sports Academy.

Brees led the Saints to their 4-0 start, including three wins during the month of September when he was the NFL’s leading passer (118.1 rating). He threw for 358 yards and six touchdowns in the season-opening 45-27 win over the Detroit Lions, and was 25-for-34 for 311 yards and three TDs in the Saints’ 48-22 win over the Philadelphia Eagles. Brees finished the month 67-for-97 for 841 yards and nine TD passes in three games.

Taurasi, of the Phoenix Mercury, won the WNBA’s 2009 Most Valuable Player award as she led her team to the Finals against the Indiana Fever. Taurasi averaged a league-leading 20.4 points per game in the regular season and has averaged more than 23 in the playoffs. The MVP award was her first in six years in the league. She scored 30 points in the deciding game of the first-round series against San Antonio and 28 in a conference finals contest against Los Angeles.

Finishing second in the balloting were golfer Tiger Woods and tennis player Kim Clijsters. Woods won the BMW Championship by eight shots to secure the No. 1 seed in the FedEx Cup Championship earlier in the month, then finished second at the PGA Tour Championship to win $10 million and the season-long FedEx Cup. Clijsters, of Belgium, was unseeded when she beat No. 9 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark to win the U.S. Open, her third tournament after returning from a retirement of more than two years. She also became the first mother to win the Open in the modern era.

Finishing third on the men’s side was Floyd Mayweather, who returned to boxing after a two-year layoff and beat two-division champion Juan Manuel Marquez in a non-title welterweight matchup. Another WNBA player, Tamika Catchings, was third in the balloting after winning the WNBA Defensive Player of the Year award and leading her Indiana team to the WNBA Finals.

No Shortage of Strong Candidates for College Football Game of the Year

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The panel of experts that has been organized to determine the College Football Game of the Year certainly doesn’t lack quality candidates in 2009.

Almost every week of the season has offered a compelling buffet of thrilling games, producing upsets of both the narrow and dominating variety, as well as close, compelling games between heavyweight programs.

There has been something for everyone in this college football season. That is reflected in the voting through the season’s first six weeks. Potential BCS bowl-busters BYU and Houston were winners in the season’s first two weeks, knocking off Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, respectively. The next two weeks were dominated by Pacific-10 Conference nominations, as Washington, winless a year ago, shocked the nation with its upset of USC to highlight week 3 and Oregon routed a California team touted by many to be Rose Bowl-caliber and earned the honor in week 4.

The season’s biggest upset may have come in week 5, when the University of Texas at El Paso ended Houston’s BCS dreams with a 58-41 win over the undefeated, 12th-ranked Cougars.

Week 6’s winner was unranked Arkansas, which ended Auburn’s undefeated season after five games with a 44-23 victory that saw the Razorbacks lead 27-3 at halftime.

We know college football fans have strong opinions about their favorite teams. That’s why the Academy is encouraging fans to pick against our panel of experts by emailing games@ussa.edu to let us know your thoughts on the college season’s best games.

The Academy’s expert panel includes famous coaches such as Hall of Famers Jack Lengyel, the first coach at Marshall University after a plane crash killed players and staff members, whose story was depicted in the film We Are Marshall, and Vince Dooley, who coached Georgia and star tailback Herschel Walker to the 1980 national championship.

The Game of the Year concept was developed by Daniel Moore, 2005 American Sport Art Museum & Archives (ASAMA) Sport Artist of the Year. Moore captures the spirit of the winning game each year with a painting.

Jordan Leads in the Search for “Mr. Basketball”

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With the National Basketball Association (NBA) season just around the corner, the race to name the United States Sports Academy’s “Mr. Basketball” is heating up.

Balloting continues through 26 November 2009 to determine the name of the Academy’s latest addition to its new Sport Sculpture Park. The basketball player, constructed by Bruce Larsen, the 2009 Sport Artist of the Year for Sculpture, is a memorial to late Sport Artist Ernie Barnes, who passed away in April. He was the Academy’s first Sport Artist of the Year in 1984, and also won the award in 2004. Barnes’ painting “High Aspirations” was Larsen’s inspiration for his work, which includes a long-legged basketball player shooting a ball into a basket.

Less than a month into the balloting process, former Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan leads, followed by Celtics center Bill Russell, a defensive ace who won 11 titles in 13 seasons, and late center Wilt Chamberlain, who had career per-game averages of 30.1 points and 22.9 rebounds per game and once scored 100 points in a single contest.

The websites of USA Today and NBC Sports have assisted the Academy in distributing the ballot to a worldwide audience. 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.

Larsen, a found object artist who creates sculptures from materials such as driftwood, rusted appliances and pieces of metal, now has four works as 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.

Congratulations to Rio on Winning Olympic Bid

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The United States Sports Academy extends heartfelt congratulations to Rio de Janeiro, the winner of the Olympic bid for the 2016 Games and Paralympic Games.

The time for South America to host its first Olympic Games was long overdue. The country previously submitted bids in 1936, 2004 and 2012. This time, Brazilian President Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva emphasized to International Olympic Committee (IOC) members that now was the time for South America to make its mark on Olympic lore.

The 2016 Games also marks the return of golf and rugby to the Olympics. Both have been absent from the Olympics since the early 1900s. Golf will consist of a 72-hole stroke-play competition for men and women. The rugby competition will include a four-day “sevens” tournament for men’s and women’s teams from 12 countries. Rugby is traditionally played 15 to a side, but the sevens format is considered by many to be more exciting and appealing to younger audiences.

Rio beat Madrid in the final round of voting after Chicago was ousted in the first round and Tokyo in the second round. The Olympics become the second significant international sporting event to be hosted by Brazil. Soccer’s World Cup comes to Brazil in 2014. The Olympics and World Cup are considered the largest two international sporting events in the world.

The IOC vote reaffirmed Brazil’s place as a world power. Currently the world’s 10th-largest economy, Brazil is expected to rise to No. 5 by the Games. Brazil is the world’s second-largest food exporter and is one of the world’s largest oil and ore producers.

Brazil’s readiness for the Games is reflected in the fact that more than half of the 2016 venues are already built, as the country hosted the 2007 Pan and Parapan American Games. It is also in preparation stages to host the 2014 World Cup.

With the Brazilians’ goal of bringing the youth of the country together and using the Olympics as a springboard to the country’s long-term development, the successful Rio bid already appears to be a winning one.

Brand Scholars to Honor Memory of Late NCAA President

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The memory of late National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) President Dr. Myles Brand will be honored by the United States Sports Academy, which plans to award scholarships to its best future students in his name.

Two master’s students at the Academy, one male and one female, will be named “Brand Scholars.” Plans are to award the scholarship annually.

Brand, 67, died in September after a nine-month battle with pancreatic cancer after serving as NCAA president for six years. The Academy honored him last year with its Theodore Roosevelt Meritorious Award.

The Roosevelt award is presented to a person in sport who has excelled as a contributor to both sports and society for at least a quarter of a century.

Brand was president at Oregon and Indiana before becoming the first university CEO to lead the NCAA, a tenure that started in 2003 and continued until his passing. Brand is credited with leading a series of reforms that improved the academic image of college athletics.

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