BRENTWOOD, Tenn. -- For the third time in four years, Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles have won the Ohio Valley Conference Team Sportsmanship Award in women's golf. The awards were announced Thursday by the conference office, with Morehead State earning the honor in men's golf.
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.
“Without sportsmanship there are truly no meaningful victories,” said Beth DeBauche, OVC Commissioner. “The recipients of the OVC Team Sportsmanship awards should accept this award with great pride for their fellow competitors have made it clear their teams exemplify the best in intercollegiate athletics. In receiving this prestigious honor other competitors are saying these student-athletes compete with class, respect their opponents and value fair play. That is quite a compliment as those are all traits that will lead to true victories throughout the course of life.”
The 2009-10 school year marks the fifth year the team sportsmanship honors have been awarded. It marks the second award for the Morehead State men’s team (they shared the inaugural award in 2005-06) and the third award for the Tennessee Tech women’s program (who also won awards in 2006-07 and 2007-08).
Tennessee Tech finished seventh overall at the 2010 OVC Women’s Golf Championship. The Golden Eagles were led by Carley Rhyne who finished 20th overall.
“Thank you to all the teams that voted for us,” said Tennessee Tech head coach Brandy Stout. “We are very honored to be accepting this award. However, this is more than just an award to these young women and myself. Tech women's golf has been well known for receiving this particular award in the past and that's not only something to be proud of, it's also something I hope to continue year after year. I am extremely proud of them all."
"I think it is a high honor to be recognized not only as a good collegiate golf team, but as good students and especially good sports,” said Morehead State head coach Rex Chaney. “We are thrilled to earn this award.”
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.