A Job Well Done

August 4, 2014 by Laurie Bollig

August is back-to-school time at my house. I’ve got one in college and one in high school.

My kids take advantage of opportunities to be involved at their respective schools – in the classroom, through community service and in extracurricular activities. They are great kids, and I am proud of their accomplishments.

When I go to work every day, I learn about more great kids – the student-athletes who are nominated for the Senior CLASS Award. Premier Sports Management manages the award program, and we are passionate about what it stands for and its place in college athletics.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award honors senior student-athletes in four areas: community, classroom, character and competition. The award program is designed exclusively for college seniors who are pursuing the many rewards a senior season can bring.  It has been in existence for 13 years, during which time an average of 1.3 million fans have taken part in the voting process.

The Senior CLASS Award stands out from other major sports awards because:

  • It is reserved strictly for seniors who have fulfilled a four-year academic and athletic commitment.
  • Classroom success, competition, character and community service are equally weighted when determining candidates, finalists and winners.

Athletics administrators care about the award too. It gives them another outlet for recognizing solid student-athletes. One hundred percent of schools that have finalists for the Senior CLASS Award use athletics websites and social media to promote their student-athletes.

From August 2011 through June 2014, more than 31.4 million Twitter users saw one of the more than 15,000 tweets featuring the Senior CLASS Award. (@SnrCLASSAward). National broadcasters and reporters including Tony Kornheiser, Dana O’Neil, Sage Steele and Brett McMurphy tweeted about Senior CLASS Award winners. NBA superstar Blake Griffin’s 2.4 million followers saw his support of fellow Oklahoma Sooner and 2013 football finalist Gabe Ikard. More than 1 million followers of Kentucky men’s basketball coach John Calipari heard about a UK softball finalist when he took to Twitter to encourage voting for her. CBS’s Clark Kellogg and Jim Nantz spent significant airtime talking about Da’Sean Butler winning the Senior CLASS Award during the NCAA Final Four semifinal contest between Duke and West Virginia in 2009.

Coaches and athletes alike say this award is one of their favorites because of the emphasis on the complete person.

If a goal of higher education and the NCAA is to graduate young people who will impact the world, I suggest they start looking to Senior CLASS Award candidates, finalists and winners past, present and future as the best examples of a job well done.