The United States Sports Academy’s 29th Annual Academy Awards of Sport, with the theme “The Artist and The Athlete,” pays tribute to those who have made significant contributions to sport with a few programs on its campus in Daphne, Ala.

This two-day event on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 14-15, includes several programs, which are free and the public is welcome to attend.

The event kicks off with the “Tribute to The Artist and The Athlete” at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14, featuring world-renowned artists Charles Billich, an Australian painter, and Edward Eyth, a California sculptor. Also, WKRG Sports Director Randy Patrick will receive his Distinguished Service Award during the program.

Billich was chosen as the American Sport Art Museum and Archives’ 2013 Sport Artist of the Year for the second time, having been honored with the award previously in 2000. Eyth won the 2008 United States Olympic Committee (USOC) Sport and Art Contest with his work, “Balance,” of a gymnast gracefully poised on a balance beam. Patrick is one of the region’s favorite television sportscasters and has won several major journalism awards.

In addition, the Academy is hosting a Sport Symposium from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15. The Moderator is WKRG’s Patrick and includes some of the foremost leaders in the world of sport. They will field questions about major contemporary sport issues, such as doping, corruption and commercialism. These experts, who come from the Olympics, boxing, college athletics and sport art, all have unique insights to share on the current state and the future of sport.

On Friday’s panel are:

  • Dr. Norbert Müller, who is world renowned for his research on the Olympics and the founder of the Modern Games, Baron Pierre de Coubertin.
  • Dr. Ching-Kuo Wu, who is the International Boxing Association president and widely credited for helping to clean up corruption in boxing.
  • Dr. Liston Bochette III, who was an Olympic decathlete and bobsledder and former Secretary General of the  World Olympians Association.
  • Dr. Lee McElroy Jr., a United States Sports Academy Board of Trustees member, who is a longtime college sports leader and currently the vice president of athletics and director of intercollegiate athletics at the University at Albany.

Ronald Reagan Media Award Presentation to Al Michaels in 1988. L to R: President Ronald Reagan, Academy President and CEO Dr. Thomas P. Rosandich, and Al Michaels.

Both Billich and Eyth, the 2013 Sport Artists of the Year, also plan to lend their expertise at the Sport Symposium.

Finally, at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15 the Academy will hold an Honorary Doctorate ceremony for Müller and Wu.

The Academy is celebrating more than 40 years of excellence in sport education. Also known as “America’s Sports University,” it has grown into the largest graduate school of sport education in the world. Today, the university remains the only freestanding school of sport education in America and has regionally accredited programs at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels. The Academy has taught sport education and provided other sport-related services to 65 nations across the globe.

The Academy is dedicated to the promotion and preservation of sport art with its American Sport Art Museum and Archives (ASAMA). Launched in 1984, it arguably has become the largest sport art collection in the world. It is open free to the public from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays throughout the year.

For more information about the Academy’s Awards of Sport 2013 honorees, click here.

To watch Awards of Sport celebrations that were emceed by legendary sportscaster Howard Cosell, please visit our YouTube channel.


29th Annual Academy’s Awards of Sport Celebration


Tribute to The Artist and The Athlete

5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 14

Sport Symposium

1:30-3:00 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15

Honorary Doctorate Ceremony

3:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 15