Nov. 13, 2007
Glenview, Ill. -
Auburn senior defensive end Quentin Groves was named one of the 10 finalists for the Awards and Recognition Association (ARA) Sportsmanship Award, which is given annually to one outstanding NCAA Division I football player who best personifies the spirit of sportsmanship.
The 2007 Sportsmanship Award recipient will be chosen from one of the ten finalists (listed below) and announced this December. Finalists represent a variety of schools of all sizes and locations throughout the United States and award criteria take into consideration the athlete's conduct both on and off the field.
This year's finalists are: Alex Brink (Washington State, QB), Jordan Brown (Houston, WR), Quentin Groves (Auburn, DE), Jacob Gutierrez (Oklahoma, RB), Dionte Johnson (Ohio State, FB), Thomas Keith (Central Michigan, LB), Micah Rucker (Eastern Illinois, WR), Jarrid Smith (Florida Atlantic, G), Jeremy Thompson (Wake Forest, DE) and Robert Vallentti (Iona, LT).
"ARA's Sportsmanship Award is the only national award that recognizes an athlete's character and leadership as it translates to sportsmanship," said Ed Hunt, president of the ARA. "Our panel looks for players that stand out and contribute when playing and in life. It's encouraging to see so many of today's collegiate athletes who consistently conduct themselves in a highly sportsmanlike manner."
ARA Sportsmanship finalists are chosen by a panel that includes retired coaches including Don Nehlen (West Virginia), Dick MacPherson (Syracuse) Vince Dooley (Georgia), Gene Stallings (Alabama), Tubby Raymond (Delaware), Spike Dykes (Texas Tech), Don James (Washington) and Ted Tollner (San Diego State and USC) along with sports and media professionals and representatives from ARA and other organizations.
To qualify for the award, an athlete must be a starting player or significant contributor on his team, be a senior in good academic standing, demonstrate great respect for competitors, school, teammates and coaches, show an ability to accept victory and defeat graciously, convey a high degree of humility and integrity and demonstrate commitment in the classroom and to the community.
All NCAA Division I schools were eligible to submit nominations for the ARA Sportsmanship Award. The finalists were selected in a blind process. For more information, go to www.arasportsmanshipaward.com.
The Awards and Recognition Association is the official sponsor of the ARA Sportsmanship Award. ARA is a membership organization of 4,000 companies dedicated to increasing the professionalism of recognition specialists and advancing the awards and engraving industry.