Campbellsville University was recently named as an NAIA Five Star Champions of Character Institution. Campbellsville is listed as one of the top-50 highest scores in the NAIA on the championship of character scorecard. Campbellsville is also one of eight full-time members of the Mid-South Conference to receive the honor, leading the way in the conference with 74 points.
“We are pleased to be named a Champions of Character Five Star institution by the NAIA. The NAIA has stepped up the requirements for institutions to be recognized as a Champions of Character Institution and our coaches and student-athletes have answered the call. I am excited about the future of our character initiatives at Campbellsville University and those being put in place by the Mid-South Conference,” said Rusty Hollingsworth, CU Director of Athletics.
The award is given annually to institutions scoring 60 or more total points on the NAIA Champions of Character Scorecard., which gives points for character training, conduct in competition, academic focus, character recognition and character promotion.
Just a few of Campbellsville’s leading efforts in those categories include the 2009-10 Lady Tiger basketball team being named the NAIA Champion of Character Team for Division I Women’s Basketball, the 2009-10 Tiger wrestling team being named the top academic team at the NAIA National Championships, CU having five Mid-South Conference Champions of Character and also having an American Football Coaches Association Allstate Good Works Team nominee (Calvin Bini). CU student-athletes and coaches also spent their time through the 2009-10 year serving in the community by reading to children at local schools, helping clean up school grounds, volunteering at nursing homes and in many other ways. Many coaches and student-athletes also went on domestic and international mission trips in their spare time.
With Campbellsville leading the way among full-time members, the Mid-South Conference was one of 20 conferences to receive Five Star recognition by the NAIA. The conference had eight full-time members and six associate members with 60 or more points on the Champions of Character Scorecard.
“It is exceedingly important that we as a conference demonstrate our continuing support of the Champions of Character initiative and I am incredibly proud of all of our institutions and the work they have done in making character-driven athletics the rule and not the exception,” MSC Commissioner Steve Baker said. “We are excited to be a Five Star conference, but we know the work is just now beginning.
“The Mid-South Conference, its institutions and all of our student-athletes and coaches eagerly embrace our roles as promoters of this significant initiative on our campuses, within our communities and throughout the nation.”
More than 70-percent of the NAIA institutions scored at least 60 points on the Champions of Character Scorecard. The NAIA’s scorecard was created to provide institutions with a checklist of measurable goals on their commitment and utilization of the five core character values — respect, integrity, responsibility, servant leadership and sportsmanship — the association embraces.
“It is rewarding to see NAIA colleges, universities and conferences taking a leadership role in the NAIA’s mission to advance character-driven athletics,” said Jim Carr, NAIA president and CEO. “With significant focus on using athletics as a vehicle to teach life lessons there is no doubt we will have a positive impact on our 60,000 student-athletes. Encompassing efforts from across the association signals important differences in how the NAIA conducts athletic competition. That distinction sets us apart and I’m very proud of that.”
According to the NAIA, Five Star award recipients will be recognized on the NAIA Champions of Characterwebsite, and receive a special web banner and certificate noting the honor. Presidents, athletics directors and conference commissioners at award winning colleges, universities or conferences also will be recognized at the 70th Annual NAIA National Convention in April.