UT Martin rifle team earns OVC Sportsmanship Award

UT Martin rifle team earns OVC Sportsmanship Award
UT Martin rifle team earns OVC Sportsmanship Award | Ohio Valley Conference, OVC, UTM, UT Martin, rifle team

BEARD
The Ohio Valley Conference announced that the University of Tennessee at Martin is the recipient of the 2007-08 Team Sportsmanship Award for rifle.
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.
“The OVC places high value on sportsmanship and ethical conduct,” said Dr. Jon A. Steinbrecher, OVC Commissioner. “Our awards acknowledge excellence and are special because it is recognition that comes from one’s peers.”
The 2007-08 school year marks the third year the team sportsmanship honors have been awarded. Jacksonville State had won the two previous team sportsmanship awards for rifle.
“A team sportsmanship award is a direct reflection of the example set by the coach,” said UT Martin Director of Athletics Phil Dane. “Coach Beard has always conducted himself professionally, and I am very proud that his team made a positive impression on the other coaches in the conference.”
The Skyhawks rifle squad finished in the top five at the OVC Championships this season. Newcomer Kaitlin Chaffin was named OVC Freshman of the Year while Heather Tillson was named first-team All-OVC Air Rifle.
“It is a very special honor because we are in a sport where everyone is a good sport,” said UT Martin head coach Bob Beard. “Because it is such a great group of coaches and student-athletes it is a very special honor to get selected as the best of the best. I am grateful to be associated with such a fine group of great Americans at UT Martin.”
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.

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