At this holiday time of year, many of us (including me) spend countless hours enjoying college football and basketball on television.
However, the purpose of college athletics is education, not entertainment, and certainly not money.
LETU Athletic Director Terri Deike and our entire staff of coaches in our YellowJackets athletics program understand that. They seek to instill in our student athletes the values of a statement that reads:
"We are committed student athletes of integrity, accountable for our choices, united in the pursuit of academic, athletic and spiritual excellence."
Their work is paying off.
Just this week, the American Southwest Conference announced the Fall 2016 Team Sportsmanship Awards, presented by the 13 ASC Student-Athlete Advisory Committees to eight ASC member institutions.
The SAAC Team Sportsmanship award honors the member institution in each ASC championship sport that best displays positive qualities of sportsmanship and fair play from its student-athletes, coaches and fans throughout the season.
LeTourneau University led with three team SAAC awards for sportsmanship: men's cross country, women's soccer and women's volleyball. Two other colleges received two awards, and five other colleges each had one award, but LETU led as the only college that received three team awards.
The women's soccer honor was shared among three other colleges (Hardin-Simmons, Louisiana College, McMurry) and the women's volleyball honor was shared with one other college (Belhaven).
I particularly liked how the ASC news release was worded:
I believe we do lead the conference in the character we bring to athletic competition. Our student-athletes receive a transforming education both inside and outside the classroom. I have often said that our athletic facilities, including our soccer and baseball/softball fields, our basketball, volleyball and tennis courts and our gymnasiums are some of the largest classrooms we have on campus.
I am proud of Terri, our coaching staff and our student-athletes for exemplifying these God-honoring values and for the character they are building that will last a lifetime.
More details on the Fall 2016 ASC Sportsmanship Awards can be found online here.