News & Events

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.

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.

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 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.

Academy Donates Harry Weber Artwork to USS Alabama Battleship Park

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Wounded Warrior

The United States Sports Academy is donating Vietnam War sketches and a bronze sculpture by award-winning artist Harry Weber to the USS Alabama Battleship Park during a presentation scheduled at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, May 5 at the USS Alabama Memorial Park Aircraft Pavilion in Mobile.

Weber, the American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA) 2011 Sports Artist of the Year, Sculptor, honors the heroism of American soldiers in the donated works. “A Warrior’s Sketchbook” is a collection of 13 sketches from the Vietnam War. Weber’s “Wounded Warrior” sculpture depicts a citizen soldier who appears distressed and is either defiantly planting his Battle Flag or supporting himself with it.

Weber, a St. Louis native, served six years in the U.S. Navy, including a year on river patrol boats in Vietnam. There he compiled a compelling series of sketches chronicling his experiences. These show soldiers in everyday life from patrolling the rivers and transporting Vietnamese prisoners to eating C rations for breakfast and stealing brief solace behind sand bags during fighting.

In addition to his sketches, Weber, who earned an art history degree from Princeton University before joining the Navy, has developed more than 100 large sculpture works and more than 200 smaller pieces. His sculptures have won several major awards at national juried competitions. His works appear in private collections in the United States and abroad, on the covers of numerous national magazines and in museums throughout the country. Monumental works that Weber created of famous sports figures are prominently featured at 12 different professional and college stadiums.

“Wounded Warrior” is a small study for a planned heroic sculpture to honor the United States citizen-soldier. The sculpture, which conveys the warrior’s unique courage and strength to carry on even in harm’s way, is meant to represent no specific branch or period of American military history, and is deliberately ambiguous in several aspects. His planting of the flag symbolizes the interdependence between soldier and country. The flag also suggests national allegiance and the bond between the warrior and his comrades.

In earning the ASAMA Sport Artist of the Year Award, it is evident that Weber’s artwork captures the spirit and drama of iconic images that immortalize sport and war heroes alike.

Academy President Re-appointed to Commission for Culture and Olympic Education

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International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge reappointed the United States Sports Academy’s President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich to another term on the IOC’s Commission for Culture and Olympic Education.

Dr. Rosandich, who has served on the commission since its inception in 2000, has been involved in the Olympic movement for more than 50 years. Dr. Rosandich 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.

The 35-member Commission for Culture and Olympic Education 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. Its work is based on the principles enshrined in the Olympic Charter. Its goal is to help build a peaceful and better world through sport as practiced in the Olympic spirit, which is based on mutual understanding, friendship, solidarity and fair play.

“There are 207 countries that belong to the Olympic movement,” Dr. Rosandich said. “It is by far the largest social movement in the history of mankind. The commission’s important work focuses on perpetuating the history and the symbolism of the Games along with the cultural side of the Games, which is something that we practice here at the Academy.”

To this end, the commission developed a series of educational materials titled the Olympic Values Education Program (OVEP). They are being used in schools throughout the world.

Marine Corps League Detachment Seeks New Members on the Eastern Shore

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Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich presents a $1,000.00 check to Sara Cole, Executive Secretary of the Academy and acting paymaster of the Marine Corps League of Daphne

Joining eleven other Detachments in the great state of Alabama, the United States Marine Corps League has opened a new Detachment in Daphne on the campus of the United States Sports Academy.

In this photo, Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich, founding President of the Academy and a former Marine Corps Officer, presents a $1,000.00 check to Sara Cole, Executive Secretary of the Academy and acting paymaster of the fledgling Marine Corps League of Daphne, to help cover expenses related to the organization of the new Detachment.

The next meeting will be held at 1800 (6:00 p.m.) on Tuesday, 5 April 2011, at the Eagle’s Nest on the campus of the Academy, located off of Highway 98. The Marine Corps League is open to Marines of all ages who have served honorably, as well as FMF Navy Corpsmen and individuals from other branches of service. If you have questions about joining the Daphne Detachment, please call 251-626-3303.

Quarterback Rodgers, Runner Keitany Voted Academy's Athletes of the Month for February

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Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers

A world champion quarterback and a world record-setting distance runner have been voted the United States Sports Academy’s Athlete of the Month honors for February.

Aaron Rodgers, the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl XLV, was named Male Athlete of the Month while Mary Keitany of Kenya, who set the world record in the half marathon, was named Female Athlete of the Month.

Rodgers, the quarterback of the Green Bay Packers, hit 29 of 34 passes for 304 yards and three touchdowns in the Packers’ 31-25 Super Bowl victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Arlington, Texas. Rodgers is the NFL’s all-time leader in regular and postseason passer rating.

Keitany smashed the world record by 35 seconds, clocking 1:05:50 at the Silver Label Road Race in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE.

Finishing second to Rodgers on the men’s side was American race car driver Trevor Bayne. On the day after his 20th birthday, and in only his second NASCAR Sprint Cup start, Bayne became the youngest driver ever to win the Daytona 500, the circuit’s most celebrated race.

Finishing second in the female voting was Mercyhurst (Pa.) College sophomore Meghan Agosta of Canada, who is now the NCAA’s all-time leader for women’s hockey in goals (155) and points (301) and was recently named CHA Conference Player of the Year.

Mary Keitany

Mary Keitany

Ashton Eaton of the University of Oregon placed third in the male voting after scoring 6,568 points to break his own indoor heptathlon world record by 69 points at the International Indoor Combined Events Meeting in Estonia. Eaton, winner of the Academy’s 2010 Jim Thorpe All-Around Award, clocked 7.6 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles, the fastest ever in a heptathlon.

Golfer Yani Tseng of Taiwan placed third in the female voting after the 2010 Rolex Player of the Year ascended to the top of the Rolex Ranking for the first time, winning back-to-back Ladies European Tour events, the Australian Open, the Australian Ladies Masters and the Honda LPGA in Thailand.

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.

Academy Mourns Legendary Coach and Trustee Jimmy Carnes

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Jimmy Carnes

The United States Sports Academy mourns the passing of legendary track and field coach and Academy Trustee Jimmy Carnes, who died Saturday, 5 March 2011, after a long and courageous battle with prostate cancer. He was 76.

Carnes, who built the stellar track program at University of Florida and the Florida Track Club, was named the U.S. Track and Field coach for the ill-fated 1980 Summer Olympic Games in Moscow, and was a member of the U.S. Track   Field Hall of Fame.

Coach Carnes was a longtime personal friend and colleague of Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich, President and CEO of the United States Sports Academy, where Carnes had served as a member of the Board of Trustees since 2003.

“Jimmy Carnes will be missed by all, not only by the Academy, but by the profession of track and field in particular,” Rosandich said. “He did everything to restore track and field in the college program. He also was a major player with the Special Olympics for many, many years. He truly was a special individual. In everything he did, he did it well.”

According to Rosandich, Coach Carnes made a significant impact as an Academy Trustee.

“Jimmy lent a great deal of prestige to the board, just by his presence,” Rosandich said. “Not only was he a successful sports figure, he also was a great businessman. With his eminence and expertise, he was a great contributor to the Academy in many ways.”

Carnes, who enjoyed extraordinary coaching success at the high school, college and international levels, also became a leading positive force in re-organizing the sport of track and field.

He was born in Eatonton, Ga. in 1935, and later attended Mercer University in Macon, from 1952 to 1956, where played basketball and ran middle distance for the Mercer Bears track and field team. Carnes dated his future wife, Nanette, a Mercer education major whom he knew from Eatonton while they were undergraduates.

After graduating from Mercer in 1956, Carnes accepted his first coaching job as the head football, basketball and track coach at Druid Hills High School in DeKalb County, Ga. From 1956 to 1962, Carnes’ Druid Hills track teams were a perfect 52–0 in dual meets and captured six state championships. He was voted Georgia coach of the year six times.

In 1962, Carnes became the head cross country and track and field coach at Furman University in Greenville, S.C. His Furman track and field teams were 16–3 in dual meets, and won both the Southern Conference indoor and outdoor track and field championships in his two seasons there. In 1964, Carnes accepted the head coaching position at the University of Florida; he was just 28 years old. From 1965 to 1976, Carnes’ Florida Gators track and field teams finished in the top three in the Southeastern Conference (SEC) 15 times, won two SEC indoor track championships, and compiled a 93–3 overall record in dual meets.

Among his many Gators track and field athletes were 65 SEC individual champions, four NCAA individual champions and 24 All-Americans. In 1965, Carnes founded the Florida Track Club in Gainesville, an amateur track and field organization that helped to train high school athletes, college-level transfer students and future Olympians.

The Florida Track Club became a magnet for serious track and field athletes training for international competitions, including Jack Bacheler, Jeff Galloway, Marty Liquori and Frank Shorter, who won Olympic gold in the marathon in Munich in 1972.

In 1973, Carnes and Liquori co-founded Athletic Attic, one of the nation’s first sports equipment chain stores, with an emphasis on running shoes for training and competition. At the peak of the running craze, Athletic Attic had over 165 stores in the United States, Canada, Japan and New Zealand with over $40 million in annual revenue. Carnes resigned as the Gators track coach in September 1976 to focus on his Athletic Attic business interests and his Olympic coaching.

Carnes is survived by his wife, Nanette, three sons and a daughter. Memorial services are scheduled for Saturday, 12 March. Nanette told the Gainesville Sun that her husband had made a lasting impression far beyond the world of track and field.

“He just cared so much about people,” she said. “So many people talk to me about how much he’s done for them. What people will remember about him are the things he did for other people. He treated his track athletes like family and his family meant a lot to him. He had success in track, he had some accomplishments, but I’m constantly amazed how so many people come up to me and tell me about something he did for them.”

Carnes was diagnosed with prostate cancer 3 1/2 years ago, according to Nanette, but it had already metastasized to his bones before it was discovered.

“We are preaching the word to make sure you get checked,” she said. “And if they find something, don’t let them tell you to wait. Get a biopsy.”

Youth Olympics Doping Program Headed by Academy Graduate

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Dr. Teh Kong Chuan, a graduate of the United States Sports Academy

Longtime national sports medicine specialist for Singapore, Dr. Teh Kong Chuan, a graduate of the United States Sports Academy, recently served as the head of doping control for the first Youth Olympics in Singapore.

Chuan, who earned a master’s degree in sports medicine from the Academy in 1979, is the senior sports medicine consultant for Khoo Teck Puat Hospital (KTPH) Sports Medicine Centre in Singapore. He has been a team physician for Singapore in international competition for more than 30 years, including four Olympic teams, five Asian Games delegations and 13 trips to the Southeast Asian Games.

In 2009, Chuan was awarded the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Trophy for Sport and the Fight Against Doping. He has written and directed several of the Singapore National Anti-Doping administration policies, as well as monitoring, training and education procedures.

Chuan has acted as one of the leading pioneers of doping control for almost three decades, and served as chairman of the Singapore National Olympic Committee’s Anti-Doping in Sports Commission (SADSC) from 2002 to 2006. With his leadership, the committee was able to implement enforcement activities against doping, including out-of-competition testing, educating athletes on anti-doping issues and developing training for doping control officers.

Chuan has presented or published more than 130 papers and articles on sports medicine and related fields, and co-authored the book, “Sports Medicine, Exercise and Fitness: A Guide for Everyone.” He also was co-editor of “Prescribing Exercise: A Handbook for Medical Practitioners.”

Academy Alumnus and Son Relish Victory Over Former Team

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First-year Creighton University Coach Greg McDermott, a 1994 graduate of the United States Sports Academy, and his son, Greg, left, helped lead the Blue Jays to victory over Northern Iowa.

First-year Creighton University Coach Greg McDermott, a 1994 graduate of the United States Sports Academy, and his son, Greg, left, helped lead the Blue Jays to victory over Northern Iowa.

Before he was named head men’s basketball coach at Creighton University, Coach Greg McDermott, a 1994 graduate of the United States Sports Academy, had come to expect more jeers than cheers from the raucous Blue Jays’ basketball fans in Omaha, Neb.

But the same fans who rooted against McDermott when he played for and later coached the Northern Iowa University Panthers went bonkers for their new coach and his sharp-shooting son on 26 February, when the McDermotts led Creighton to a satisfying, 63-55, victory over their arch-rival in the Missouri Valley Conference.

Doug McDermott, the Coach’s son, was the Blue Jays leading scorer in the victory, with 13 points, to help end the Blue Jays three-game skid to the Panthers. The victory was no doubt sweeter because Doug had intended to follow in his father’s footsteps and originally signed to play for Northern Iowa, but changed his commitment when his dad was hired by Creighton last spring.

Coach McDermott made national headlines when he signed a lucrative $9 million contract to lead the Blue Jays, following four seasons at Iowa State University. Prior to his stint at Iowa State, McDermott had coached at Northern Iowa for five seasons, where he led the Panthers to a school-record 23 wins in 2006 and the team’s first-ever Associated Press Top 25 ranking.

Unfortunately, success did not follow McDermott to Iowa State, where player suspensions and transfers left the program in a perpetual rebuilding mode in the grueling Big 12 Conference. McDermott overcame adversity by utilizing the professional coaching skills he acquired while pursuing his master’s degree in sports management from the Academy in 1994.

McDermott earned his master’s degree while serving as an assistant coach at the University of North Dakota. Completing his master’s degree opened the door to his first head coaching job, at Wayne State University, where he coached from 1994-2000 and compiled a record of 116-53, including two appearances in the NCAA Division II tournament. He coached at North Dakota State for one year before beginning his five years at Northern Iowa.

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