2013 April

Academy’s Carl Maddox Sports Management Award Presented Posthumously to University of Alabama Director of Athletics Mal Moore

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The United States Sports Academy presented to Dr. Gaylon McCollough, who was a close friend of the late University of Alabama Director of Athletics Mal Moore and a teammate on Paul “Bear” Bryant’s football team, the Carl Maddox Sports Management Award on behalf of Moore, Moore’s family and the university.

The posthumous award from the Academy is to be placed at the Mal M. Moore Athletic Facility on Alabama’s campus. McCollough received the award Tuesday evening, April 23 with about 75 people in attendance, including Academy Board of Trustees Executive Committee members and senior administrators, during the presentation at a private residence in Daphne, Ala.

Gaylon McCollough (center) received the Academy's Carl Maddox Sports Management Award on behalf of the late University of Alabama Director of Athletics Mal Moore. McCollough was a longtime friend and former Alabama football teammate of Moore's. Also pictured are Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich (left) and Robert C. Campell III (right), Academy Board of Trustees Chairman.

Moore, who served as athletic director for the past 14 years, stepped down earlier this year because of health problems and died March 30. He was 73.

Moore, who had a long history of success, earned the Carl Maddox Sports Management Award for overseeing the most successful season in Alabama history last year and one of the most successful any program has ever had. The Crimson Tide won national championships in football, women’s golf, gymnastics and softball, while its men’s basketball team reached the NCAA tournament and its men’s golf team finished as runner-up for the NCAA national championship to Texas.

In many ways, Moore had become the face of athletics at Alabama. He had served all but eight of the last 56 years of his career at the school, including working as an offensive coordinator for the legendary Bryant’s national championship teams in 1978 and 1979.

The Academy annually presents the Carl Maddox Sports Management Award to an individual like Moore for his contributions to the growth and development of sport enterprise through effective management practices. The award honors individuals who exhibit mastery of all the management functions, are well known in the sport arena, and have an abiding belief in the need for ethical behavior in sport management. It is named in honor of the former Athletic Director of Louisiana State University and Mississippi State University, Carl Maddox, who also served on the United States Sports Academy’s Board of Trustees.

Under Moore’s leadership since 1999, Alabama made two expansions of the team’s football stadium, which today seats more than 101,000. Moore also oversaw significant upgrades to the school’s basketball arena and major additions to the football training facility. New facilities were built for tennis and soccer and the track and baseball stadiums received upgrades.

Moore, who first arrived on the Tuscaloosa campus as a freshman football player in 1958, is credited with raising more than $220 million for school athletics and Alabama’s athletic department budget grew from $31 million to more than $100 million during his tenure.

 

Under Armour's Kevin Plank Receives the Academy’s Theodore Roosevelt Meritorious Achievement Award

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Kevin Plank noticed the cotton T-shirts that he and his teammates on the University of Maryland football team wore under their pads would become drenched with sweat. This would make them heavy, uncomfortable and hinder their performance.

Under Armour Founder Kevin Plank (right) receives the Academy's Theodore Roosevelt Meritorious Award from Joseph Szlavik, the Academy's Board of Visitors chairman.

Plank, who walked on at Maryland and later became a team captain, set out on a quest to develop a lightweight, sweat-wicking synthetic T-shirt. Upon graduating from Maryland in 1996 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, he found a fabric used in women’s undergarments. Since then, his dogged energy has propelled Under Armour, Inc. from a T-shirt maker with $17,000 in revenue in 1996 to a multisport-apparel company that surpassed the $2 billion mark this year.

The 41-year-old Plank, founder, CEO and chairman of Under Armour, earned the United States Sport Academy’s 2012 Theodore Roosevelt Meritorious Achievement Award for his contributions to sport that have revolutionized athletes’ experience on the playing field. Plank received the Academy’s award Tuesday, April 23 at the company’s headquarters in Baltimore, from Joesph Szlavik, the Academy’s Board of Visitors chairman. Also attending the presentation was Vincent Vanni, senior director of marketing at Washington Sports & Entertainment.

Plank said that he was “flattered that the U.S. Sports Academy chose me for this honor, and humbled to be put in such distinguished company, as the previous recipients of the Roosevelt Award include heads of state, members of Congress, and ambassadors, as well as leading sports figures of the 20th century.”

During the presentation, Plank brought out a crystal plaque that was inscribed with President Roosevelt’s famous poetic speech about being “in the arena” and striving valiantly, which Plank says he greatly admires.

The Academy’s Theodore Roosevelt Meritorious Achievement Award is presented annually to an individual in any amateur or professional sport, past or present, who has excelled as a contributor to both sport and society over at least a decade.

Recognized as one of the most powerful CEOs in the United States, Plank also serves on the Board of Directors of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, Inc. and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Maryland College Park Foundation.

The sports-apparel giant based in Baltimore, Md., started in a basement in Georgetown. Plank’s first big sale came with the Georgia Tech football team in 1996 and led to more schools signing on. Eventually, the company grew when it was picked up by retailers, added more products and signed athletes to endorse the brand, such as Baltimore native Michael Phelps, professional skier Lindsey Vonn and New England quarterback Tom Brady.

 

Congratulations to Our Newest Graduates!

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With rolling enrollment, the Academy’s students start their courses as soon as they are accepted without having to wait for the next semester to begin. The Academy is proud to announce its latest monthly graduates.

Bachelor’s Students
Randall J. Ferguson (Astoria, N.Y.) B.S.S. Sports Management
Mckenzie C. Forrest (Wadley, Ga.) B.S.S. Sports Coaching
Jeffrey S. Schekorra (St. Petersburg, Fla.) B.S.S. Sports Coaching
Stephanie S. Thomas (San Antonio, Texas) B.S.S. Sports Coaching
Ashley E. Walden (Northbridge, Mass.) B.S.S. Sports Management

Master’s Students
Michael R. Adams (Normal, Ill.) M.S.S. Sports Coaching NCAA Compliance Emphasis
Gregory B. Adams (Corona del Mar, Calif.) M.S.S. Sports Coaching
Jennifer K. Babbitt (Plymouth, Minn.) M.S.S. Sports Management
James C. Fraser Jr. (Anderson, S.C.) M.S.S. Sports Studies
James A. Hamilton (Branson, Mo.) M.S.S. Sports Studies
Jaime L. Heiner (Layton, Utah) M.S.S. Sports Coaching/M.S.S. Sports Health and Fitness
Rachael E. Killinger (Moberly, Mo.) M.S.S. Sports Management/M.S.S. Sports Coaching
Bradley J. Linares (Fort Madison, Iowa) M.S.S. Sports Management
Samuel J. Lipe (Springfield, Ill.) M.S.S. Sports Coaching
Lance A. Petsch (Torrington, Wyo.) M.S.S. Sports Management
Trevor A. Schans (Willowbrook, Ill.) M.S.S. Sports Coaching
Christopher J. Staton (Arvada, Colo.) M.S.S. Sports Coaching
Joel T. Thornton (Mayfield, Ky.) M.S.S. Sports Management
Kari J. Walker (Boiling Springs, S.C.) M.S.S. Sports Management Personal Training Emphasis
Tara E. Weisshaar (Evans, Colo.) M.S.S. Sports Management/M.S.S. Sports Coaching

Doctoral Student
Boryong Kim (Busan, South Korea) Ed.D Sports Management Human Resources Management

Learn more about Academy programs at USSA.edu

Academy's Walk of Fame Now Includes Recent Graduates

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Dreamed of having your name appear alongside other sports superstars? Well, now it does.

Every year, the United States Sports Academy places new bricks with the names of its most recent graduates on the university’s Walk of Fame. Students who graduated in 2012 can now find their names alongside the Academy’s Award of Sport recipients, Board of Trustees members and anyone else who would like to purchase a brick.

The Walk of Fame circles the perimeter of the campus. One walkway leads to the “Tribute to the Human Spirit” mural by Cristóbal Gabarrón that celebrates Jackie Robinson breaking the Major League Baseball color barrier in 1947. Other paths on the Walk of Fame lead up to the “Iron Bowl” monument and the “Nastia Liukin” sculpture, which were both done by Fairhope, Ala., sculptor Bruce Larsen, the Academy’s 2009 Sport Artist of the Year.

If you would like to become a part of this beautification project, you can purchase one or more bricks along the Walk of Fame. Each brick will be engraved to your specifications (18 characters per line up to four lines), reflecting your choice of wording. The $50 brick purchases are tax-deductible and gives you a unique opportunity to honor your loved ones, teammates, coaches, colleagues or others with a lasting memorial.

If you would like to add your name to the Academy’s Walk of Fame, please  contact the Academy at 251-626-3303 or email asama@ussa.edu.

2012 grads! Can you find your name in these pictures of the Academy’s Walk of Fame?

A few Alumni who graduated in the Class of 2012. Do you see your name?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Commemorate a loved one or favorite coach by buying a tax-deductible brick today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 2012 graduates are now on the Academy's Walk of Fame!

 

 

Former Academy Sports Management Chair Dr. David Stotlar Earns Lifetime Scholar Award

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Dr. David Stotlar, the one-time Assistant to the Vice President for Academic Affairs at the Academy and Chair of Sports Management, earned the Sports Management Association’s lifetime scholar award at its ninth annual conference April 9 at Troy University.

In the picture from left to right are: Dr. T.J. Rosandich, Academy Vice President and COO, Dr. David Stotlar, former Academy Sports Management chair, and Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich, Academy President and CEO.

Stotlar, who visited the Academy following the award presentation, is the University of Northern Colorado Director of the School of Kinesiology & Physical Education. He has had more than 70 articles published in professional journals and has written more than 40 textbooks and book chapters in sport, fitness, and physical education. In addition, during his long career, Stotlar has given over 200 presentations and workshops at national and international professional conferences.

On several occasions, he has served as a consultant in sport management to various sport professionals; and in the area of sport marketing and sponsorship, to multinational corporations and international sport managers. David was selected by the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) as a delegate to the International Olympic Academy in Greece and the World University Games Forum in Italy and served as a venue media center supervisor for the 2002 Olympic Games.

He has conducted international seminars in sport management and marketing for the Hong Kong Olympic Committee, the National Sports Council of Malaysia, Mauritius National Sports Council, the National Sports Council of Zimbabwe, the Singapore Sports Council, the Chinese Taipei University Sport Federation, the Bahrain Sport Institute, the government of Saudi Arabia, the South African National Sports Congress and the Association of Sport Sciences in South Africa.

Stotlar’s contribution to the profession includes an appointment as Coordinator of the Sport Management Program Review Council (NASPE/NASSM) from 1999-2001. Also, he previously served as Chair of the Council on Facilities and Equipment of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD) and as a Board Member and later as President of the North American Society for Sport Management (NASSM). Stotlar was a member of the initial group of professionals inducted as NASSM Research Fellows. He is also a founding member of the Sport Marketing Association.

 

Baseball’s Jackie Robinson Honored at the Academy with Mural, Award and Medallion

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Like the new movie, “42” about Jackie Robinson breaking baseball’s color barrier in 1947, the United States Sports Academy over the years has also paid tribute to the Hall of Famer who played for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

The Warner Brothers’ movie, which was No. 1release in the nation in its opening weekend earning $27.4 million, has introduced the late Robinson to a whole host of new fans and the Academy has helped to keep his inspiring spirit alive.

Rachel Robinson (center), Academy founder Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich (right), and London sculptor John Robinson (left), who created the bronze medallion, at the unveiling in February 1988 of the sports university’s Jackie Robinson Humanitarian Award given each year to someone who promotes human welfare and social reform.

In fact, Robinson’s widow, Rachel, who is now 90-years-old, says in an interview with the Los Angeles Times that she felt a movie about her husband needed to happen since new generations remember little from the civil rights era. Her husband died in 1972 at the age of 53.

“I was getting older, and I really wanted kids to know who Jack was and to think about what they can do with their own lives,” said Robinson, who had script approval on “42.”

In February 1988, Rachel Robinson travelled to the Academy’s campus in Daphne, Ala., to celebrate the unveiling of the Jackie Robinson Humanitarian Award. London sculptor John Robinson created the Medallion for the award. The first Humanitarian Award went to Cincinnati Reds Hall of Famer Joe Morgan for his work with youth. It has been given annually since then to honor those in sports who promote human welfare and social reform.

The Academy’s criteria for the award reads in part: “Jack Roosevelt Robinson broke the baseball color barrier by displaying his skills, while at the same time subjugating his pride, to prove an awareness of our failings as well as his abilities. Had he lacked the discipline, not to mention the dedication, America and sport would be spiritually and athletically poorer.”

"A Tribute to the Human Spirit," by renowned Spanish artist Cristóbal Gabarrón was painted in 1997 in honor of the 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in professional baseball and in celebration of the Academy’s 25th anniversary.

The Humanitarian Award named after Robinson is one of more than a dozen awards the Academy, a preeminent sports university, has given since 1984 to celebrate significant achievements in sports.

Alabama’s largest work of public art—a mural that stands 27-feet (two stories) high and 12-feet wide—is located on the face of the Academy’s main building. The mural entitled, “A Tribute to the Human Spirit” was painted in 1997 by renowned Spanish artist Cristóbal Gabarrón to honor the 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in professional baseball and to celebrate the Academy’s 25th anniversary. It is seen by millions every year as they pass by the sports university along U.S. Highway 98.

Gabarrón, the Academy’s 1992 Sport Artist of the Year, stated in an interpretation of the vibrant colored mural he painted that Jackie Robinson exemplified the “most exalted and universal values found in sport: dedication, sacrifice, solidarity, teamwork, friendship…all of which contribute to the common goal of success.”

The face of Robinson, who is depicted swinging at the plate, is half black and half white to signify the promise of racial harmony that sport provides, Gabarrón explained.

Each year, Major League Baseball (MLB) celebrates Jackie Robinson’s legacy on April 15, which is when Robinson played his first game as a first baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field. The league retired his number throughout the league in 1997 and has dedicated April 15 as Jackie Robinson Day each year since 2004. In 2009, MLB requested that every player and all on-field personnel wear his Number 42 during games scheduled on April 15.

The Academy's Jackie Robinson Humanitarian Award goes annually to a person who has promoted human welfare and social reform.

Rachel Robinson told the L.A. Times that instead of becoming angry at all of the racism her husband endured, they turned to laughter, which was their “survival mechanism.”

“Sometimes people attribute Jack’s actions to anger. He was very careful in the management of his anger, mostly because he didn’t want to spoil the opportunity or stop the experiment from moving forward,” Robinson said. “When he played, he was assertive. But all too often people equate assertiveness on the part of black males as anger and aggression, and that wasn’t Jack.”

The public is welcome to enjoy the Jackie Robinson Humanitarian Award medallion and “A Tribute to the Human Spirit” mural of Robinson at the Academy’s American Sport Art Museum & Archives (ASAMA) for free from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.

View Gabarrón painting the mural in honor of Robinson on YouTube.

Longest Relay in the South Makes Pit Stop at the Academy

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During the inaugural Gulf Coast Interstate (GCI) Relay 2013 — billed as the longest relay in the South —the United States Sports Academy’s campus in Daphne, Ala., served as one of five major transition areas for the 178 participants on Friday, April 5.

Runners with the GCI Relay team, "IRun with Robert" take a moment to pose with the Academy's Dr. Steve Butler (center), who led the organization of the university as a major transition area for the event.

After the first two-thirds of the 263-mile course from New Orleans to Pensacola Beach, Fla., took its physical and mental toll on the cycling and running team members, many expressed gratitude for the hot showers, a large room to sleep in, hot coffee, and helpful Academy volunteers.

Suanne White-Spunner said, after already running three legs of the race, the Academy was a perfect rest stop. “This is a unique place,” said the Mobile, Ala., resident. “This is the first place in a run I’ve ever been on where we didn’t have to sleep back-to-back in the van or on the ground.”

After her stop, Maureen Vandevender reported she was “refreshed.” “This is my first race like this,” the Mobile resident said. “I took a hot shower and now I think I can finish the race. It’s so nice of the Academy to do this.”

The Academy had nearly two-dozen volunteers from its faculty and staff to help the GCI Relay participants, which included 64 cyclists and 114 runners. The race teams had access to bicycle repairs, bathrooms, showers, food and drinks, a resting area, and parking during their stop along the route.

The race started in New Orleans on Thursday, April 4 and crossed four states—Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida—before ending in Pensacola Beach, Fla., on Saturday April 6. The event was the first one of its kind in history to be sanctioned by USA Cycling.

In all 114 runners and 64 cyclists participated in the inaugural 263-mile GCI Relay that the Academy served as a founding sponsor.

“When I discovered the Academy was right along the route of the relay, I was excited about the shared interest and love of sports,” said Sarah Sadd, GCI Relay Race Director. “It was completely serendipitous that the Academy’s campus was the perfect location for a transition area. I’m very excited to partner with the Academy for this inaugural event and for many years to come.”

The running and cycling teams travelled through Daphne between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. Friday, April 5. The first runner to make it to the Academy campus was 49-year-old Jimmy Baker. The Houston resident ran the 8.28-mile leg from the USS Alabama Battleship along the causeway on Mobile Bay to the Academy in Daphne. There were 36 legs in all for the running teams that included six or 12 runners.

“Seriously, I was keeping a lookout for alligators,” said Baker, a semi-truck driver, who was running for the T-1000 team. “My legs are too short for all of this uphill stuff but I’m glad I did it. I wouldn’t miss this race for the world.”

John Murray, a 54-year-old cyclist from Pensacola, Fla., and Megan Bonit, a 27-year-old runner from Phoenix, agreed that the biggest improvement for next year’s relay should be more noticeable course markers. Murray’s cycling team got turned around in downtown Mobile and Bonit accidentally ended up on the Bay Way Bridge that is part of Interstate 10 that crosses over Mobile Bay before an Alabama Highway Patrol officer helped get her back on course.

“The marker was a little obscure,” explained Bonit, a physical therapist. “But I’ve really liked this race. It’s exciting.”

The Gulf Coast relay crossed started in New Orleans and crossed through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida before ending at Pensacola Beach, Fla.

Dr. Stephen Butler, the Academy’s Dean of Instructional Design and Technology and Chief Information Officer, and Matthew Cope, Director of Operations, led the Academy volunteers for the GCI Relay.

“We look forward to being part of GCI Relay’s great race again next year,” Butler said. “It was a positive experience for everyone involved.”

To view more photos of the Gulf Coast Interstate cycling and running relay event, visit the Academy and GCI Relay Facebook pages.

The United States Sports Academy is an independent, non-profit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and the 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 the Academy’s website www.ussa.edu.

People, Places & Programs

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During his latest travels to Africa, the Middle East and Asia, United States Sports Academy Vice President and COO Dr. T.J. Rosandich met with Qi Lu, the vice secretary general of the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games Organizing Committee (NYOGOC). Qi Lu presented Dr. Rosandich with a set of pins from the Youth Olympic Games.

Allen Jackson and Barbara Wise, Academy Distance Learning Faculty members, are teaching “Sports Strength & Conditioning” and “Introduction to Sports Security Management,” respectively, at the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT) diploma program April 19-27.

Qi Lu (right) presents Dr. T.J. Rosandich with a set of pins from the Nanjing Youth Olympic Games.

Dr. Tim Newman, a United States Sports Academy National Faculty member and associate professor at York College of Pennsylvania, has co-authored  a new textbook, “Social Media in Sports Marketing.”

Dr. Robert Goldman, an Academy Board of Trustees member, recently helped put on the International Sports Hall of Fame 2013 induction ceremony that is done in conjunction with the Arnold Sports Festival, which is in its 25th year and is the largest sports event of its kind in the world.

Bob Lawson, one of the Academy’s original National Faculty members, renowned track and field coach and world-class decathlete, died unexpectedly recently at his home in Ocean Shores, Wash.

Harvey Schiller, who received the Academy’s 2011 Honorary Doctorate for distinguishing himself as an Olympic leader and sport entrepreneur during his more than 30-year career in sports, was profiled Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal in its March 11-17 issues as part of the magazine’s 2013 class of The Champions: Pioneers & Innovators in Sports Business.

MAJOR PROGRAM EVENTS

2013 American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAPHERD) National Convention & Exposition scheduled April 23-27 in Charlotte, N.C.

International Beach Handball (IBH) Master course scheduled May 19-22 at the Grand Sierra Resort, 2500 E. Second St., in Reno, Nev. More information regarding Beach Handball can be found here.

International Symposium on Higher Education Institution Leaders May 20-23 at the Athens Institution for Education and Research in Greece.

American College of Sports Medicine 60th annual meeting and 4th World Congress on Exercise is Medicine May 28-June 1 at Indianapolis, Ind.

3rd International Forum on Sport for Peace and Development June 5-6 at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

NACDA and Affiliates Convention Week this year June 10-15, at the World Center Marriott Resort in Orlando, Fla.

 

Mississippi Art Honor Students Tour Academy’s Sport Art Museum

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The American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) welcomed about 40 honor art students from the Pearl, Miss., high school for a recent tour.

None of the students had toured the museum before. It arguably holds the largest collection of sport art in the world with more than 1,700 pieces in all media.

Artist Bruce Larsen talks about his "Iron Bowl" sculpture to Pearl, Miss., honor art students.

The students, who were led by art teacher Felicia Lee, took tours of both the inside of the museum and its Sport Sculpture Park outdoors on its Daphne, Ala., campus. Well-known Fairhope, Ala., sculptor Bruce Larsen, the Academy’s 2009 Sport Artist of the Year, led the outside tour that includes six of his found art pieces. B’Beth Weldon, an Academy Art Committee member and Fairhope painter, also helped lead the tour.

Lee reported that the young art students were quite overwhelmed by the variety of art found at ASAMA, whether it was the assemblages by Jim Ridlon, the Academy’s 1989 Sport Artist of the Year, or the Bing Mah Yong paintings by Charles Billich, the Academy’s 2000 Sport Artist of the Year.

The students were also the first ones to see the Academy’s wire statues displayed in its new Olympic Special Collections Room. Students, of course, also said they were impressed by the found object sculptures done by Larsen, who spoke about each one.

“Many of the art teachers and students expressed an interest in coming back, which we certainly would welcome them to do,” said Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich, who founded ASAMA’s in 1984 and is the Academy’s president and CEO. “This was a very well behaved group and they were a pleasure.”

ASAMA is open to the public free from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. For more information about the museum or tours, please call 251-626-3303 or visit www.asama.org.

Ebooks Offer Benefits Over Textbooks to Academy Students

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The opportunity to use ebooks in United States Sports Academy courses continues to grow, doubling in the past year alone.

Many students say they are fortunate to take an Academy course that is now using an ebook. That’s because ebooks offer many advantages to learning, such as enhanced content like pictures, graphics, video and Internet links to other informational resources.

Here are other ebook benefits:

  • Ebooks are delivered almost instantaneously upon student enrollment to wherever you are. Students have the full 16-week period to read and use ebooks for the course.
  • Many ebooks have bonus materials that give you the opportunity to enhance the course, which you cannot get in textbooks. These materials will help students better understand and learn the course topics.
  • Ebooks offer links for easy access to more information and related websites.
  • Ebooks are searchable. You can easily search for any information in an ebook, instead of turning page after page.
  • Fonts in ebooks can be resized, making it easier to read for students and people who may have disabilities.
  • Ebooks are portable. You can carry hundreds of books with you, on CD, in a laptop, notebook, tablet, smartphone or any ebook reader. And with today’s technology you can read ebooks anywhere.

As technology continues to advance, publishing companies are converting more and more textbooks to ebooks. Ebooks are here to stay. Academy faculty and staff hope you will embrace this exciting educational technology that offers many benefits in students’ pursuit of a degree from the institution.

The United States Sports Academy is an independent, nonprofit, accredited, special mission sports university created to serve the nation and the 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.

Beach Handball Clinic Opens Door to Coaching or Refereeing Career

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USA Team Handball’s Beach Handball Committee has announced the conducting of a clinic in conjunction with the USATH Club National Championships in Reno, Nev.

Dede Piankova, USATH Beach Handball Committee Chairwoman, is currently seeking coaches, referees and players who are interested in participating in the International Beach Handball (IBH) Master course scheduled from May 19-22. The intense course leads to an International Handball Federation (IHF) certification that opens the opportunity to pursue an international coaching and refereeing career.

The course will be conducted by the most experienced IHF Beach Handball lecturers from the European Handball Federation’s Beach Handball Commission. It will immediately follow the Club National Championships in Reno. The international instructors will provide excellent education and a great experience on the fast growing and exciting beach format of the sport. All participants will receive valuable information and a certificate of completion.

The course, which costs $50 per person, is being held in the Grand Sierra Resort, 2500 E. Second St., in Reno. Anyone who is interested should contact Piankova by email at dede.piankova@usabeachhandball.org or by phone at 512-275-6777.

More information regarding USATH Beach Handball can be found here.

American Basketball Player LeBron James and South Korean Figure Skater Kim Yu-na Voted Athletes of the Month

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Miami Heat forward LeBron James, who led his team on a 27-game win streak, and South Korean figure skater Kim Yu-na, who won the world championships, were chosen as the United States Sports Academy’s March Athletes of the Month in worldwide online voting.

Miami Heat Forward LeBron James

James, an American basketball player, finished with 32 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, and 4 blocks in the Miami Heat’s loss to the Chicago Bulls, which ended Miami’s win streak at 27 games. During the streak, LeBron led his team in every way, averaging 27.0 points, 8.1 rebounds and 8.0 assists to lead the Heat. In addition, James’ shooting percentage was a whopping 57.5 percent.

Meanwhile, Yu-na returned to the world stage in figure skating after a two year layoff. The 2010 Olympic gold medalist picked up where she left off earning the gold medal in the women’s 2013 World Figure Skating Championships. The 22-year-old earned a total of 218.31 points, beating her nearest opponent by a 20-point margin, which is the largest victory at worlds since the current scoring system took effect in 2005.

The public is invited to participate in the worldwide Athlete of the Month nomination and ballot voting processes. Visit the Academy website at www.ussa.edu to submit your nominations each month, and then return to the website during the first two weeks of each month to vote for the male and female Athletes of the Month. The votes along with an Academy committee choose the winners who become candidates for the Athlete of the Year. The monthly and yearly winners are announced on the Academy’s website and in the sports university’s online edition of The Sport Update.

World Figure Skating Champion Kim Yu-na

Finishing second in the men’s category was American golfer Tiger Woods, who returned to No. 1 in the world golf rankings after falling from the top spot in October 2010, or about 29 months ago. Woods, who
had spent 623 weeks at No. 1, catapulted atop the ranking after his victory in the Arnold Palmer Invitational. He now has eight titles at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, equaling Sam Snead for the most titles ever at a single tournament. Woods has won three tournaments this season.

The runner-up to Yu-na on the women’s ballot was American pole vaulter Jenn Suhr. She set the women’s pole vault indoor world record when she cleared 16 feet, 5 ½ inches at the USA Track & Field Indoor National Championships in Albuquerque, N.M. The record was previously held by Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia, who cleared 16-5 ¼ a year ago. It was the sixth straight national title for Suhr and seventh overall.

Third place winners for March were South Korean speedskater Sin Da-woon, who was crowned the men’s overall champion at the World Short Track Speed Skating Championships; and Slovenian skier
Tina Maze, who had 11 World Cup victories to set the record for overall points with a total of 2,414.

James and Yu-na are now eligible for the Academy’s male and female 2013 Athlete of the Year Award. For the 29th consecutive year, the Academy will oversee the worldwide online voting that will take place in December. This prestigious award is currently done in conjunction with NBC Sports.

In 2012, the male Athlete of the Year was Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, who became the first man ever to win both the 100- and 200-meter races in successive Olympics. The female Athlete of the Year was American tennis player Serena Williams, who became the singles champion at Wimbledon, the U.S. Open and the Olympics. Both Olympians dominated 2012’s online ballot in December, which drew tens of thousands of votes a day from across the world.

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