2013

Spain’s Rafael Nadal and South Korea’s Yuna Kim Voted Academy’s 2013 Male and Female Athletes of the Year

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The world’s No. 1- ranked men’s tennis player and the women’s world champion figure skater earned the United States Sports Academy’s 2013 Male and Female Athletes of the Year award.

Spain’s Rafael Nadal, who won the French and U.S. Opens, and South Korea’s Yuna Kim, who also won the award three years ago for winning gold at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, earned the awards decisively in online voting conducted worldwide this month.

Rafael Nadal is the Academy's 2013 Male Athlete of the Year.

Rafael Nadal is the Academy’s 2013 Male Athlete of the Year.

Despite returning from a seven-month layoff because of a left knee injury, Nadal won two Grand Slam victories, beating Serbia’s Novak Djokovic both times. The wins catapulted him to No. 1 over Djokovic.

Kim returned to the world stage in figure skating after a two year layoff following the 2010 Winter Olympics. The 22-year-old picked up where she left off earning the gold medal in the women’s 2013 World Figure Skating Championships by earning a total of 218.31 points. She won by a 20-point margin, which is the largest victory at worlds since the current scoring system took effect in 2005.

Nadal and Kim dominated the voting in the 29th year of the Academy’s Awards of Sport program. Online voting took place on the Academy’s website at www.ussa.edu. from Dec. 1-20 and was done in conjunction with NBC Sports.

Yuna Kim is the Academy's 2013 Female Athlete of the Year

Yuna Kim is the Academy’s 2013 Female Athlete of the Year

This year’s ballot included 12 men and 12 women who came from 11 different countries, including two athletes each from Jamaica and South Korea. The nominees represented a wide variety of popular winter and summer sports from fútbol to football and figure skating to skiing. Their performances stood out and provided some of the best highlights and stories in sports in 2013.

The Athlete of the Year ballot is the culmination of the Academy’s yearlong Athlete of the Month program, which recognizes the accomplishments of men and women in sports from around the globe. Each month, the public is invited to participate in the worldwide Athlete of the Month program by nominating athletes and then voting online during the first two weeks of every month. The votes, along with an Academy selection committee, choose the male and female winners monthly who then become eligible for the prestigious Athlete of the Year honor. The monthly winners are announced on the Academy’s website and in the online edition of The Sport Update.

In 2012, the Male Athlete of the Year was Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, who successfully repeated as the Olympic gold medalist in the 100 meters and 200 meters at the 2012 London Olympics, and the Female Athlete of the Year was American tennis player Serena Williams, who captured gold in the women’s singles and doubles at the 2012 Games to become the only person to hold a career Golden Grand Slam in Olympic competition.

Finishing second in the Male Athlete of the Year category was Argentine soccer star Lionel Messi. The 26-year-old Barcelona player earned a record third Golden Shoe trophy, after finishing with the most league goals in Europe last season. The Argentine netted 46 goals.

The runner up to Kim in the Female Athlete of the Year voting was No. 1-ranked Williams, who in 2013 added two more majors—the French and U.S. Opens—to become the fourth woman in the Open era after Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert and Steffi Graf to win each Grand Slam title at least twice. Williams, who has 17 Grand Slam titles in her career, won 11 titles total this year.

The third place winner on the men’s ballot was Bolt. He flashed past American Carl Lewis into the world track and field championship record book by completing a triple gold-medal performance in Moscow. Bolt and the legendary Lewis both have won 10 world championship medals total, including eight gold medals. Bolt took gold in the 100 meters (9.77 seconds), 200 meters (19.66) and anchored Jamaica’s victory in the 400-meter relay (37.36).

Meanwhile, Missy Franklin finished third in the voting for Female Athlete of the Year. She claimed a record six gold medals at the world swimming championships in Barcelona. The 18-year-old’s gold medals came in the 200-meter backstroke, 100 backstroke, 200 freestyle, 4×100 freestyle, 4×200 freestyle and the 400 medley relays. She took fourth in the 100 free. Franklin eclipsed the women’s record of five gold that had had been shared by American Tracy Caulkins (1978) and Australian Libby Trickett (2007).

The United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and world with programs in instruction, research, and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports. For more information about the Academy, call 251-626-3303 or visit www.ussa.edu.

Academy’s 2013 Meritorious Service Awards

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Front row (L-R): Shari André (5 years), Secretary for Student Services, Becky Cochran (20), Admissions Assistant, Patty Wilson (20), Library Assistant, Debbie Neumeyer (5), Receptionist, Kristie Sheppard (5), Secretary of Administration, and Ina Kendall (5), Administrative Assistant for Academic Affairs . Back row (L-R): Leigha Bolton (5), Administrative Assistant to the President, Matthew Ellis (5), Coordinator of Student Information Systems, Dr. Timothy Foley (5), Dean of Student Services, Annita Alldredge (15), Director of Finance, and Dr. T.J. Rosandich (35), Vice President and COO.

Front row (L-R): Shari André (5 years), Becky Cochran (20), Patty Wilson (20), Debbie Neumeyer (5), Kristie Sheppard (5), and Ina Kendall (5). Back row (L-R): Leigha Bolton (5), Matthew Ellis (5), Dr. Timothy Foley (5), Annita Alldredge (15), and Dr. T.J. Rosandich (35).

The United States Sports Academy awarded Meritorious Service Awards to several employees at its recent Dec. 13 Christmas celebration. They were honored for their length of employment that ranged from five to 35 years.

They staff members included:
35 Years – Dr. T.J. Rosandich, Vice President and COO
20 Years – Becky Cochran, Admissions Assistant, and Patty Wilson, Library Assistant
15 Years – Annita Alldredge, Director of Finance
5 Years – Kristie Sheppard, Secretary of Administration; Ina Kendall, Administrative Assistant for Academic Affairs; Debbie Neumeyer, Receptionist; Dr. Timothy Foley, Dean of Student Services; Matthew Ellis, Coordinator of Student Information Systems; Shari André, Secretary for Student Services; and Leigha Bolton, Administrative Assistant to the President.

Congratulations!

2013 Toys for Tots Campaign Best Ever for Academy

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The 2013 Toys for Tots campaign resulted in the largest collection that the United States Sports Academy has had in its 18 years of involvement with the program.

The collection of more than 2,000 toys was made possible by the coordinated efforts of Academy staff and the Jesse Andrews Jr. Marine Corps League Detachment in Daphne, Ala.

Toys for Tots Pick-Up Photograph

“Toys for Tots is one of our greatest services to the community that we do among many other things,” said Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich, Academy President and CEO. “I am very grateful for all the gifts donated by the community to the children who need them during these difficult times.”

The Jesse Andrews Jr. detachment donated $1,000 to kick off the Academy’s 2013 Toys for Tots drive. The Academy used the money to purchase more than 200 toys and bicycles for underprivileged children.

The Academy and the detachment collected donations from more than 50 locations spread throughout the Daphne, Ala., area from Nov. 1 through Friday, Dec. 13.

Long considered one of South Alabama’s largest collection centers for the Toys for Tots program, many local residents, organizations, companies and schools dropped off their new, unwrapped toys at the Academy’s Daphne, Ala., campus, as well.

Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig Earns Honorary Doctorate from the Academy

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Major League Baseball (MLB) Commissioner Bud Selig has earned a 2013 Honorary Doctorate from the United States Sports Academy for guiding America’s pastime to record profits and attendance and through the contentious “steroids era.”

Selig, who has served at the helm of baseball since 1992, received the honor Friday, Dec. 13 at his Milwaukee office from Academy Board of Trustee Jack Scharr, Fine Art Ltd. president.

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Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig (left) accepts Honorary Doctorate from the Academy on Friday, Dec. 13 at his Milwaukee office from Trustee Jack Scharr.

Early on in his tenure, Selig pledged to eliminate performance enhancing drugs from the game. He is responsible for overseeing and instituting several rule changes and penalties to cleanse the game from PEDs.

In the latest debacle this year involving a Miami anti-aging clinic named Biogenesis, Selig has taken a tough stance. He suspended 14 players for at least 50 games, including New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez for 211 games. The player suspensions are the most to be imposed simultaneously in the history of organized baseball.

“Major League Baseball has worked diligently with the Players Association for more than a decade to make our Joint Drug Program the best in all of professional sports,” said Selig in a statement announcing the suspensions. “I am proud of the comprehensive nature of our efforts.”

As the Commissioner of Baseball, many credit Selig for introducing revenue sharing and leading the financial turnaround of baseball. Baseball revenue overall jumped from $1.2 billion in 1992 to an estimated $8 billion this year.

The 79-year-old Selig is the ninth Commissioner and approved by MLB owners to say on until the end of the 2014 season. During his tenure, he oversaw baseball through the 1994 strike, the introduction of the wild card, interleague play, and the merging of the National and American Leagues under the Office of the Commissioner. He was instrumental in organizing the World Baseball Classic in 2006. Selig also commissioned The Mitchell Report, which concluded that the MLB commissioners, club officials, the Players Association, and the players all shared responsibility for the growing use of performance enhancing drugs.

Selig, a Milwaukee native and resident today, was previously the team owner and team president of the Milwaukee Brewers and is widely heralded for keeping baseball there. He purchased the Seattle Pilots in 1970 and renamed them the Milwaukee Brewers. The team went on to the 1982 World Series and won seven organization of the year awards under his leadership.

Michigan State Knocks Ohio State Out of National Championship Race to Earn the Academy’s Game of the Week Honor

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Michigan State rallied for two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to upset Ohio State and knock its biggest rival out of the national championship picture.

No. 10 Michigan State came into the Big Ten title game determined to shake things up and it did. The Spartans rallied from a seven-point third-quarter deficit by scoring the final 17 points to defeat No. 2 Ohio State, 34-24, and earn selection as the Week 15 winner of the United States Sports Academy’s College Football Game of the Year contest.

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Michigan State scored the first 17 points of the game and then watched Ohio State’s Braxton Miller, Carlos Hyde & Co. run over the nation’s stingiest defense for the next 24 points.

But Spartans quarterback Connor Cook responded by leading his team to a field goal near the end of the third quarter followed by a 9-yard TD pass to a wide open Josiah Price with 11:41 left in the game to regain the lead, 27-24. Cook, who won game MVP honors, threw for 304 yards and three TDs.

Michigan State sealed its victory over Ohio State, which had the nation’s longest winning streak at 24 games, when running back Jeremy Langford broke free for a 26-yard TD to put the Spartans up 10 with 2:16 left to play. Langford ran 24 times for 128 yards, becoming the first player this season to top 100 yards against the Buckeyes.

A national panel of experts selects the weekly winner of the Academy’s College Football Game of the Year Contest. Each week’s winner is considered for the award honoring the best College Football Game of the Year at the end of the season. Last season’s winner was Texas A&M’s 29-24 shocking upset of Alabama in a Southeastern Conference showdown.

This committee is currently chaired by Jack Lengyel, the former athletic director at the United States Naval Academy. Lengyel was also a college football coach best known for being the head coach who resurrected the Marshall University football program, as depicted in the 2006 film, “We Are Marshall.”

Daniel Moore, the American Sports Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) 2005 Sport Artist of the Year, is commissioned by the Academy each year to create a painting honoring the selected College Football Game of the Year. The Academy, also known as America’s Sports University, donates the painting and $5,000 to the general scholarship fund of the annual winner.

The United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and world with programs in instruction, research, and service. The role of the Academy is to prepare men and women for careers in the profession of sports. For more information about the Academy, call 251-626-3303 or visit www.ussa.edu

Auburn Stuns Alabama on Field Goal Return to Earn the Academy’s Game of the Week Honor

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DAPHNE, Ala. – It will go down as one of the most memorable plays in the 78-year history of the bitter Iron Bowl rivalry and also rank among the best ever in college football.

Auburn’s Chris Davis returned a missed 57-yard field goal attempt by Alabama 109 yards for a touchdown with no time left in the game. His stunning touchdown return lifted No. 4 Auburn to a 34-28 victory over No. 1 and two-time defending national champion Alabama at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala.

The exciting finish earned Auburn selection as the Week 14 winner of the United States Sports Academy’s College Football Game of the Year contest.

Auburn’s return of a missed 57-yard field goal attempt by Alabama won the 2013 Iron Bowl for the Tigers.

 

Davis caught the ball about 9 yards deep in the end zone after Alabama freshman Adam Griffith’s 57-yard attempt fell short. He then sprinted down the left sideline and cut back with only his teammates surrounding him.

The victory propelled the Tigers (11-1, 7-1 Southeastern Conference) to the Southeastern Conference championship game and kept its hopes alive of playing for the BCS national championship. The Iron Bowl matchup was only the second between top-five teams and first since 1971.

Auburn now has a place in college football folklore alongside such plays as the Stanford-Cal game when the band walked on the field during the winning touchdown run and when Boston College quarterback Doug Flutie’s Hail Mary touchdown pass beat Miami.

The Crimson Tide (11-1, 7-1), which was poised for the first three-peat in modern college football, restored 1 second to the clock after a review of Alabama running back T.J. Yeldon’s run to the Auburn 39. That allowed the long field goal try. Alabama also missed field goals of 33, 44 and 44 yards.

Auburn rushed for 296 yards on the Alabama defense with Tre Mason leading the way with 29 carries, 164 yards and a 1-yard touchdown.

A national panel of experts selects the weekly winner of the Academy’s College Football Game of the Year Contest. Each week’s winner is considered for the award honoring the best College Football Game of the Year at the end of the season. Last season’s winner was Texas A&M’s 29-24 shocking upset of Alabama in a Southeastern Conference showdown.

This committee is currently chaired by Jack Lengyel, the former athletic director at the United States Naval Academy. Lengyel was also a college football coach best known for being the head coach who resurrected the Marshall University football program, as depicted in the 2006 film, “We Are Marshall.”

Daniel Moore, the American Sports Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) 2005 Sport Artist of the Year, is commissioned by the Academy each year to create a painting honoring the selected College Football Game of the Year. The Academy, also known as America’s Sports University, donates the painting and $5,000 to the general scholarship fund of the annual winner.

Oklahoma State Grounds High-Flying Baylor to Earn the Academy’s Game of the Week Honor

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Oklahoma State senior Clint Chelf, who lost the starting job earlier this season, looked like the Heisman Trophy quarterback on the field against Baylor.

Chelf passed for a career-high 370 yards passing for three TDs and running for another as the No. 10 Cowboys dismantled the No. 4 Bears 49-17 in the Big 12 Conference game. The upset earned Oklahoma State selection as the Week 13 winner of the United States Sports Academy’s College Football Game of the Year contest.
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Worldwide Online Voting Begins Dec. 1 for the Academy’s 2013 Male and Female Athlete of the Year

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For the 29th consecutive year, the United States Sports Academy will name an Athlete of the Year in conjunction with NBC Sports.

Sports fans from across the world will decide who the most outstanding male and female athletes were in 2013 through online voting on the Academy’s website at www.ussa.edu/ballot/athlete-of-the-year. The ballot of 12 males and 12 females goes live at midnight Sunday, Dec. 1 and closes at midnight Friday, Dec. 20.
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USC Edges Stanford to Earn the Academy’s Game of the Week Honor

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Southern Cal repeatedly came up big on defense to knock No. 4 Stanford out of the national college football title hunt.

USC kicker Andre Heidari hit a 47-yard field goal with 19 seconds to play to give the Trojans a 20-17 upset over the Cardinal. The electrifying victory earned USC selection as the Week 12 winner of the United States Sports Academy’s College Football Game of the Year contest.

This is the first time USC has beaten an AP-ranked Stanford team since Oct. 25, 1986, when Stanford was No. 19. Stanford had won in its last three trips to the Coliseum, including a triple-overtime thriller two years ago, and its last four meetings with USC overall.
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United States Sports Academy Receives $1,000 to Kick Off 2013 Toys For Tots Drive

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From left to right: U.S. Marines Mr. Sam Riley, Mr. Jim Jeffries, Mr. Carl Jozaitis, Mr. Mawk Arnold, Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich, Mr. Carl Adams, Mr. Donovan Cordell and Academy Registrar Ms. Sara Lee.

The Jesse Andrews Jr. detachment of the U.S. Marine Corps League this week donated $1,000 to the United States Sports Academy’s 2013 Toys for Tots drive.
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Edward Eyth, Charles Billich Named 2013 Sport Artists of the Year

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Pictured left to right are: 2013 Sport Artist of the Year Charles Billich, Academy Board of Trustees member Jack Scharr, 2013 Sport Artist of the Year Edward Eyth, and Academy Art Committee Chair Nancy Raia.

The American Sport Art Museum and Archives’ (ASAMA) 2013 Sport Artist of the Year are two world-renowned artists who have both created award-winning Olympic art.

American sculptor Edward Eyth and Australian painter Charles Billich were honored at the Academy’s Awards of Sport annual event, “A Tribute to the Artist and the Athlete,” held Thursday, Nov. 14 at the university’s Daphne, Ala., campus.  Both honorees received medals and plaques at the celebration.

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