Austin Peay Softball earns OVC Sportsmanship honor
APSU Sports Information
Brentwood, TN – The Ohio Valley Conference announced Wednesday Austin Peay State University is the 2015-16 Team Sportsmanship Award recipient for softball.
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,” stated DeBauche.
The 2015-16 school year marks the 11th year the team sportsmanship honors have been awarded. This is the first award for the Austin Peay softball program.
“This is a great award for us to win,” Austin Peay head coach Shane Showalter said. “It speaks directly to our character and how the girls, the team, the coaches, the trainers, everyone that is involved with us handles themselves and goes about doing their business every day.
“It also speaks volumes about our opponents and how they see us as a group of people that handle things and people the right way. I’m awfully proud of the girls for receiving 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.