2011 April

Academy President Appointed to International Sport Movie and TV Federation

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Academy President Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich (middle) with Dr. Franco Ascani (right), President of FICTS, and Professor Konstantino Georgiadis, Honorary Dean of the International Olympic Academy, at the IOC’s 7th World Conference on Sport, Education, and Culture in Durban, South Africa, in 2010.

Academy President Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich (middle) with Dr. Franco Ascani (right), President of FICTS, and Professor Konstantino Georgiadis, Honorary Dean of the International Olympic Academy, at the IOC’s 7th World Conference on Sport, Education, and Culture in Durban, South Africa, in 2010.

The Fédération Internationale Cinéma Télévision Sportifs (FICTS), which is dedicated to promoting sport culture and Olympic values in sport cinema, television, culture and communication in 108 countries and five continents, appointed United States Sports Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich to its Culture, Education and Youth Commission.

As a member of the FICTS commission, Dr. Rosandich will be engaged in different international cultural and formative activities on a national and international level that help spread sport culture and Olympic values among the world’s youth.

FICTS, which is recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), has a number of programs focused on youth, such as sport competitions in track and field, programs promoting peace through sport and the inclusion of people with disabilities in sport activities, a writing competition on sport and Olympic values, and a showcase of sport art and films.

“Sport Movies & TV – International FICTS Fest” is the organization’s largest and best-known event. The six day festival held annually in Milan, Italy, includes the “World FICTS Challenge,” a competition for cinematographic and TV works that come from all over the world, as well as other events highlighted by the presentation of 30 prestigious awards in sport cinema and TV.

Dr. Rosandich’s commission appointment by the FICTS executive board comes on the heels of his reappointment last month to the IOC’s Commission for Culture and Olympic Education, which advises the IOC on the promotion of culture and Olympic education and supports the IOC programs and activities related to the education of youth through sport. Dr. Rosandich serves on that 35-member commission along with FICTS President Professor Franco Ascani.

Dr. Rosandich, who has served on the IOC commission since its inception in 2000, has been involved in the Olympic Movement for more than 50 years. He received the IOC’s highest award – the Olympic Order – in 1997. He received the highest honor given by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) in 2000, when he was awarded the USOC’s President’s Medal.

Auburn’s Sheniqua Ferguson Accepts Academy’s Alabama Female Athlete of the Year Award

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Auburn University sprinter Sheniqua Ferguson (middle) accepts the Academy's 2010 Athlete of the Year Award from Dr. Fred Cromartie, the Academy's Dean of Academic Affairs, (left) as head track and field coach Ralph Spry looks on. The award presentation occurred at the War Eagle Invitational on Saturday, April 16 at Auburn University.

Auburn University sprinter Sheniqua Ferguson (middle) accepts the Academy’s 2010 Athlete of the Year Award from Dr. Fred Cromartie, the Academy’s Dean of Academic Affairs, (left) as head track and field coach Ralph Spry looks on. The award presentation occurred at the War Eagle Invitational on Saturday, April 16 at Auburn University.

Auburn University sprinter Sheniqua Ferguson accepted the 2010 Alabama Female Athlete of the Year Award from the United States Sports Academy during the War Eagle Invitational Track and Field Meet held at Auburn University on Saturday, April 16.

Presenting the award to Ferguson was Dr. Fred Cromartie, the Academy’s Dean of Academic Affairs and Director of Doctoral Studies, who received the 2002 Alumnus of the Year Award from the Academy.

Ferguson, a senior from Nassau, Bahamas, is the reigning NCAA 200-meter indoor champion and the SEC Female Runner of the Year after winning titles in the SEC Outdoor Championships last year in the 100 meters, 200 meters and the 4×100-meter relay.

“When my coach first told me about it, the two of us were really excited,” Ferguson said. “It’s a big award. I am happy to be selected out of all the athletes in every sport.”

“It’s an honor and privilege to have this award presented to one of our student-athletes,” said head track coach Ralph Spry. “Sheniqua has had a tremendous career up to this point, and we’re excited about her senior year. It’s always nice to see somebody that works as hard as Sheniqua does – both on the track and in the classroom – be recognized for her accomplishments.”

Ferguson’s 2010 track and field season in was filled with outstanding performances. Ferguson won the NCAA Indoor Championships title in the 200 meters in 23.09 seconds – the third fastest time in the school’s indoor history. It also makes her the second Auburn woman to win the 200-meter indoor title.

In the outdoor season, Ferguson placed sixth nationally in both the 100 and 200 meters and ran on the seventh-place team in the 4×100-meter relays, earning All-American honors in all three events.

Running against the world’s best helped Ferguson prepare for the 2010 season. She represented the Bahamas in the 2009 World Championships and the 2008 Olympics. Ferguson was a semifinalist in the 200 meters and a quarterfinalist in the 100 meters at the World Championships, helping the Bahamas to a bronze medal in the 4×100-meter relay. At the 2008 Olympics, she reached the 200-meter quarterfinals before being eliminated.

Academy Creates Five Teaching Assistant Scholarships in Honor of Past Board of Trustees

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Five Doctoral Graduate Teaching Assistant scholarships were created by the United States Sports Academy in honor of the memory of a dedicated Board of Trustees. The Academy is accepting applications for the program from those who are interested in pursuing a Doctor of Education in Sports Management (Ed.D) degree as a full-time resident student.

The assitantships are named in tribute to: Charlie Cape, a Trustee on the Academy’s inaugural Board; Carl Maddox, a long-serving Trustee chairman whose name is also on the Academy’s Sports Management Award presented each year for excellence in athletics administration; Herman Maisel, a former Trustee who was named to the Mobile Sports Hall of Fame for his contributions to high school sports and who played an instrumental role in securing the Academy’s campus in Daphne, Alabama; Ben Weider, a former Trustee and founder of the International Federation of BodyBuilders; and Jimmy Carnes, a former Trustee who was a legendary track and field coach at University of Florida, the U.S. Olympic Team and the Florida Track Club.

Those who are selected for the program will play an integral role in the course writing and development of both distance learning and continuing education courses for web-based instruction. They will also teach on-line courses in the Academy’s undergraduate program, and undertake other assignments such as assisting in data collection and analysis for Institutional Effectiveness, undertake special projects, serve as Ambassadors for special events and may be eligible for international teaching assignments (a valid U.S. Passport is required). The graduate assistants will also assist faculty with the development of workshops, seminars, short courses, symposia and institutes offered credit, non-credit or continuing education.

The Doctoral Teaching Assistants will receive a competitive annual stipend, fully paid individual student health insurance policy, as well as a tuition waiver. Applicants must be first accepted as a student into the doctoral program. In addition, it is not required but the Academy is interested in filling one assistantship with an applicant who has a background in golf.

Anyone interested in applying should send a résumé, letter of interest and three professional references to jobs@ussa.edu; United States Sports Academy; Attention: Director of Administration; One Academy Drive; Daphne, AL 36526; Fax: 251.621.2527 EOE. For additional information, contact the Dean of Student Services at 251-626-3303, ext. 7147 or visit the employment page. The United States Sports Academy is an E-Verify employer. If you have a legal right to work in the United States, there are laws to protect you against discrimination in the workplace.

Academy President Travels to China to Visit Shaolin Temple and to Dedicate Sports City

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Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich is traveling in China during the next two weeks to dedicate a new sports city in the name of Juan Antonio Samaranch, the former President of the International Olympic Committee, and to deliver the first-ever English translation of an ancient Shaolin text to His Holiness Abbot Shi Yongxin.

In China, Dr. Rosandich will meet with Dr. Jie “Jack” Guo, the President of WorldTeam Sports, to cut the ribbon Thursday, April 21 for the development of the “Juan Antonio Sports City.” This $158 billion project is the first of three cities that the Academy is working on with Dr. Guo, who is the leading sport entrepreneur in China and who represents the NBA in that nation. Dr. Guo is also the recipient of an honorary doctorate degree from the Academy in recognition of work to develop sports in the world’s most populous nation. The development includes the creation of a Sports Academy that will provide much of the same sports-related academic content that is found at the Daphne, Ala., college.

Dr. Rosandich will present the 615-page English manuscript, “Shaolin Kung Fu Secrets,” to Abbot Shi Yongxin on April 24 at the Shaolin Temple. Over the past three years, the Academy worked to translate the 1,500-year-old manuscript to English from ancient Chinese. The spiritual leader of the Shaolin Temple and 400 million Chan Buddhists gave the ancient text to the Academy in November 2006, when he visited the Academy to receive his honorary doctorate.

This English translation, which contains 394 Kung Fu figures, for the first time unlocks long-held secrets about Shaolin philosophy as it relates to Shaolin Kung Fu – the mother of all martial arts. The rare Shaolin manuscript has become the basis of a course in the Academy’s Bachelor of Sport Science degree program and has been prepared for online delivery. It will soon become available to the world as the Academy works to deliver it in more than 52 languages.

People, Places and Programs

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World-renowned sports producer and promoter Sheldon “Shelly” Saltman has been appointed to the Academy’s Board of Visitors. The Emmy-award winner’s long list of credentials includes the fights of Muhammad Ali, Joe Frazier, Tommy Hearns and Roberto Duran, and the stunts of Evel Knievel. He has also held executive positions with two NBA teams and promoted/produced concerts and TV specials of famous music artists.

Rick Rush, the American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) 2011 Sport Artist of the Year-Painter, has also been appointed to the Academy’s Board of Visitors. Rush, known as “America’s Sport Artist” won a significant court battle for his right to draw, paint and sell the images of star athletes when Tiger Woods sued for royalties on a painting Rush created of the golfer when Woods won the 1997 Master’s golf tournament.

Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich attended the 126th American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) National Convention and Exposition in San Diego, Calif., in late March.

Academy Board of Trustees member Dr. Gary Cunningham, who is President of the USA-International University Sports Federation, is attending the World University Games Head of Delegation Meeting as the American representative in Shenzhen, China, from 14-16 April.

Academy Chair of Sports Coaching Dr. Scott Johnson recently returned from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where he taught a two-week course in sports coaching methodology in cooperation with the country’s National Institute of Sport.

Academy National Faculty members Dr. Peter Mathiesen and Dr. Stan Drawdy recently returned from Thailand, where they taught courses in conjunction with the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT). The courses are a part of the Academy’s international certification programs in sports management and sports coaching. Dr. Mathiesen is a former college and professional basketball coach and Dr. Drawdy has been in education for more than 30 years as a high school athletic director and coach.

Academy Vice President Dr. T.J. Rosandich has been asked to represent Baldwin County in the area of sports as a member of the Regional Tourism Committee. This committee was organized by Ricky Matthews, publisher of the Mobile Press-Register, and is chaired by former Mobile Mayor Mike Dow. Restaurateur and former Miami Dolphin football player Bob Baumhower represents Mobile County in the area of sports as a member of the committee.

Chay Yee, president of the International Sports Academy (ISA) in Singapore and a long-time associate, continues to offer Academy continuing education programs (certifications and diploma programs) through the ISA. The ISA is the site of the Academy’s first diploma program.

Academy Dean of Student Services Dr. Craig Bogar spoke about the about the Academy’s history, current programs and its future plans to members of the Mobile Sunrise Rotary Club, one of the oldest and largest Rotary clubs in the world.

Tennis’ Top Female and Record-breaking Archer Win March Athlete of the Month

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The world’s No. 1 women’s tennis player and a new world record holder in archery earned the United States Sports Academy’s Athlete of the Month Awards.

Caroline Wozniacki

Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark was named Female Athlete of the Month after she maintained her No. 1 ranking by defeating Maria Sharapova in the semifinals on her way to earning her 14th career singles title at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Hills, Calif.

Christopher Perkins of Canada was named Male Athlete of the Month after the 18-year-old shot a world record 599 points in the 18 meters at the Canadian Indoor Championships.

Brigham Young University basketball star Jimmer Fredette finished second on the male ballot, after he led the nation in scoring with more than 28 points per game. In the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament, he averaged 33 points, four assists and nearly five rebounds per game in leading BYU to its first Sweet Sixteen (third round) appearance in 30 years.

Christopher Perkins

German biathlete Juliane Döll finished second on the female side after she won three titles in one week at the European Biathlon Championships. The biathlon is a winter sport that combines cross country skiing and rifle shooting.

Finishing third on the male ballot was national champion wrestler Anthony Robles, who won the NCAA 125-pound title despite being born with one leg. Third on the female ballot was Gonzaga University basketball player Courtney Vandersloot. The senior guard became the first male or female player in NCAA basketball to record over 3,000 points and 1,000 assists for a career. She led the Bulldogs to their first-ever Elite Eight appearance (regional finals).

The public is invited to participate in the worldwide Athlete of the Month nominating and balloting processes. Visit the Academy website and submit your vote, and return to the website the first week of each month to vote on the Athlete of the Month. Winners will be announced on the Academy’s website and in the online edition of The Sport Update.

Cheerleading Ranks First in Catastrophic Sport Injuries

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The information on cheerleading injuries to young women is alarming:

  • Cheerleading is the No. 1 female sport and No. 2 in catastrophic injuries when compared to all sports – only American football ranks higher.
  • The National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research at the University of North Carolina reports that 65.2 percent of all catastrophic injuries in youth sports occur in cheerleading.
  • Cheerleader falls from gymnastic-type stunts have been reported to have a greater impact than being tackled by a professional football player.

A growing body of evidence indicates that the increasingly popular world of cheerleading has become one of the most dangerous athletic activities for women. Evolving from sideline squads that once led fans in school fight songs to high-powered, complex, acrobatic shows to motivate the crowd, cheerleading is racking up sprained wrists, twisted ankles, damaged knees, strained backs and sometimes much worse.

There are solutions to curb the sharp increase of catastrophic injuries – coaching education and new safety regulations like in other sports.

The growing facts and figures prompted the United States Sports Academy, National Cheer Safety Foundation (NCSF), and nationally-known sports safety and law experts to work together on projects to educate those involved in cheerleading on the care and prevention of such injuries.

Catastrophic injuries in cheerleading and other youth sports will be addressed at the Athlete Abuse Prevention Summit on April 29, 2011 in Boston. Dr. Robert Cantu, the Academy’s 2010 Dr. Ernest Jokl Sports Medicine Award winner, will deliver the keynote message at the Summit, updating sport professionals on the concussion crisis facing young athletes. Other speakers include: USSA National Faculty Members, Dr. Frederick Mueller, a national authority on sport injuries for the past 40 years; and Dr. Herb Appenzeller, a leading expert on sport law and risk management.

“Coaches don’t want to be in trouble for hurting kids,” NCSF founder Kimberly Archie said. “(Coaches) want these tools. They want this knowledge. They’re looking for this kind of education.” Archie will also be speaking at the Summit, along with two survivors of catastrophic cheer injuries – NCSF Executive Director Krista Parks and Laura Jackson.

Parks and Jackson’s stories both serve as cautionary tales. Parks was practicing when instead of flipping smoothly through the air and landing safely in the arms of a cheer teammate, she plummeted 20 feet headfirst into the gym floor, fracturing three vertebrae in her neck. Parks escaped permanent paralysis but now lives with unrelenting pain in her neck, back and head, irreparable nerve damage and memory problems. Meanwhile, Jackson is paralyzed from the neck down after she leaped into the air, flipped into a back tuck and landed flat on her back during tryouts for the Stevenson High cheerleading team in Livonia,

To prevent such injuries from happening to other young women, a major part of the NCSF platform has been to make cheerleading a varsity sport at the high school and intercollegiate athletics levels. This action would then make cheerleading governed by the same safety regulations as other sports, such as gymnastics.

“Cheer safety education based on the sports sciences is crucial in reducing catastrophic and over-use injuries in cheerleading,” Archie said. “Those involved need to insist that coaches are educated and trained to properly care for young athletes.”

To attend the Athlete Abuse Prevention Summit, you can register at http://www.usasportsafety.com/boston. The summit will begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. Friday, April 29, 2011 at the Omni Parker Hotel in Boston, Mass. The Academy will offer continuing education credits for those who attend the Summit.

The Summit is sponsored by USA Sport Safety, the NCSF, the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research, the National Collegiate Acrobatics & Tumbling Association, and Impact, a provider of computerized neurocognitive assessment tools and services that are used by medical professionals.

The conference will give parents, coaches, trainers and athletes the chance to learn from pioneers of sport safety research about the prevention and treatment of sports injuries.

The Academy and the NCSF are also joining forces to develop an online NCSF Coaching Education Program to introduce science in cheer safety to reduce injury, disability and death from cheer-related accidents.

National Faculty Member Dr. Richard Bell Visits Academy Campus

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Dr. Richard Bell and Ms. Betsy Smith

Academy National Faculty member and former Dean of Academic Affairs, Dr. Richard Bell (left), discusses an upcoming international teaching assignment with Ms. Betsy Smith, the Academy’s Associate Dean of Continuing Education, during a visit to the Academy’s campus on Friday, 1 April 2011. Dr. Bell is currently preparing to teach the Academy’s sports diploma program in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

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