Nashville, Tenn. - The Ohio Valley Conference announced that the Tennessee State University men's track and field team is the recipient of the 2010-11 Team Sportsmanship Award for outdoor track season.
The program receives its second OVC Sportsmanship Award after earning the honor at the conclusion of the 2008-09 indoor season. This marks the first Outdoor Track and Field Sportsmanship award for the Flying Tigers.
TSU Athletics has received a total of five sportsmanship awards, establishing their first two in 2007-08 with men and women's tennis and garnering one in softball at the end of 2008-09 academic year.
"I am very proud of my team for being voted by their peers as the team that displayed sportsmanship," said head coach Kelly Carter. "They really deserve it. They have worked really hard at being great men as well as great athletes. This award means that they are making strides at accomplishing that goal."
Voted on by the student-athletes and coaches of the respective sports, the team awards are bestowed upon the Conference squads deemed to have best exhibited the standards of sportsmanship and ethical behavior as outlined by the OVC and NCAA. Included in the areas for evaluation are the conduct of student-athletes, coaches, staff and administrators and fans.
"Without sportsmanship there are truly no meaningful victories," said Beth DeBauche, OVC Commissioner. "The recipients of the OVC Team Sportsmanship awards should accept this award with great pride for their fellow competitors have made it clear their teams exemplify the best in intercollegiate athletics."
"In receiving this prestigious honor other competitors are saying these student-athletes compete with class, respect their opponents and value fair play," said DeBauche. "That is quite a compliment as those are all traits that will lead to true victories throughout the course of life."
The 2010-11 school year marks the sixth year the team sportsmanship honors have been awarded.
Implemented in August 2005, the team honors are the most recent addition to an awards program that recognizes and celebrates sportsmanship within the Conference. In 1998, the league established the Steve Hamilton Sportsmanship Award, presented annually to a male or female student-athlete of junior or senior status who best exemplifies the characteristics of the late Morehead State student-athlete, coach and administrator.
Five years later, the Conference added the OVC Sportsmanship Award, presented annually to the member institution selected by its peers to have best exhibited the standards of sportsmanship and ethical behavior as outlined by the OVC and NCAA.
In 1995, the Ohio Valley Conference implemented a first-of-its-kind "Sportsmanship Statement," a policy promoting principles of fair play, ethical conduct and respect for one's opponent. The statement answered the challenge of the NCAA Presidents Commission to improve sportsmanship in collegiate athletics, and has become a model for others to follow across the nation.