Bucknell Receives National Sportsmanship Award
Oct. 10, 2007
LEWISBURG, Pa. - Bucknell is one of four Division I institutions in the nation to be named an "All-American Sportsmanship School", the Institute for International Sport announced on Wednesday. The award was established to honor schools that have implemented exceptional sportsmanship programs, such as the "Bison Good Sports!" initiative that was launched at Bucknell in October 2006.
Bucknell, Auburn, Clemson and Indiana are the four Division I honorees for 2007-08. The Empire 8 Conference, two junior colleges, three high schools and three elementary/middle schools were also selected.
"I would like to offer special thanks to the Institute for International Sport for considering Bucknell for this important award, and for their role in promoting positive sporting conduct at all age levels," said director of athletics and recreation John Hardt. "At Bucknell we strive to set a national example of winning the `right way,' with true student-athletes who aim to compete successfully at the highest level of college athletics. To that end, fostering good sporting environments at all of our athletics venues continues to be a primary point of emphasis. This honor is a true reflection of the hard work that has been put forth by our Bison student-athletes, coaches and staff."
Bucknell participated in the Institute for International Sport's "National Sportsmanship Day" last March at a men's lacrosse home game against Penn. Fans attending the lacrosse game received free Bison Good Sports Posters, and tee shirts were given away. Bucknell will also participate in next year's event, which will be celebrated nationally on March 4, 2008.
"Bison Good Sports!" is a sportsmanship awareness program intended to promote appropriate fan conduct at all Bucknell sporting events. According to Hardt, the objective of the campaign "is to thank our fans for the tremendous energy and enthusiasm that they bring to each of our Bucknell athletics contests, while also empowering them as caretakers of the collegiate gameday experience."
In the weeks surrounding the launch of "Bison Good Sports!," Bucknell took several actions to promote positive fan behavior, including the development of a new "Bison Good Sports!" logo, the purchase of radio advertising and the placement of signage at all Bucknell competition venues.
"The 2007-08 honorees are made up of a group of schools -- ranging from elementary school to university - that have all clearly demonstrated a well thought-out sportsmanship program in their respective schools, which has resulted in an admirable commitment to and practice of sportsmanship," said Chris Shea, coordinator of the 2008 National Sportsmanship Day program. "We look for schools whose administration fosters a strong atmosphere of sportsmanship among its coaching staff and student-athletes."
Bucknell sponsors 27 intercollegiate sports, including 14 for women, at the Division I level. It is a charter member of the Patriot League and has won the league's all-sports championship in 13 of the 17 years it has been contested, including 2006-07. Bucknell annually ranks among the national leaders in graduation rates and ranks fifth in Division I in producing Academic All-Americans.