BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – The Tennessee State men’s tennis team earned this season’s Ohio Valley Conference Team Sportsmanship Award.
TSU’s men’s tennis team secured the award for the fourth time, also winning the honor in 2007-08, 2011-12 and 2013-14. Led by Second Team All-OVC honoree Daniel Bernal (Bogota, Colombia), the Tigers went 9-14 on the year. The 2015-16 school year marks the 11th 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.