By Megan Seals
Union University was once again recognized as an NAIA Five Star Champions of Character Institution. According to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, Union was listed as one of the top-25 highest scores on the Championship of Character Scorecard, which was released Oct. 19.
The TranSouth was one of only two conferences nationwide to have all members to score 60 points or higher. Union’s final score was 80 points. The NAIA recognized 204 colleges and universities and 20 conferences.
“We are pleased to receive this award from the NAIA,” said Tommy Sadler, Union director of athletics. “Our coaches are always reminding our student-athletes of the importance of character and sportsmanship in our athletic program.
“While we never feel we have reached the point of perfection in our efforts toward character and sportsmanship, this award is a measuring stick that can be used to see we are moving in the right direction.”
Steven Aldridge, Union director of sports information, said this year was the first time the award was given with a new scorecard format that awards points for certain projects and events. Programs that scored 60 or higher got the award.
Conferences that made the list had at least 60 percent of their member schools making the grade.
The Champions of Character program emphasizes five core values: integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership.
Institutions earned points in the following categories: character training, academic focus, character promotion, character recognition and conduct in competition.
Recipients of the award are recognized on the NAIA Champions of Character website and will also receive a special Web banner and certificate noting the honor. In addition, the presidents, athletic directors and conference commissioners at the winning institutions will be recognized at the 70th Annual NAIA National Convention in April.