New CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame plaques are now on display in the NCAA Hall of Champions adjacent to the NCAA national office in Indianapolis.
Created in 1988, the Academic All-America Hall of Fame recognizes Academic All-Americans who have achieved lifetime success in their professional careers and are committed to philanthropic causes in the communities where they reside.
Twenty-three classes, including 112 Academic All-Americans, have been inducted since the program’s inception in 1988. The four plaques at the Hall of Champions feature a description of the program, its history, and the names and affiliations of each inductee.
Eric McDowell, assistant athletics director of sports information at Union College (New York), pursued the idea of displaying the plaques with CoSIDA leadership and NCAA officials. The plaques were unveiled in August.
They join CoSIDA Hall of Fame plaques that have been on display at the Hall of Champions since 2006.
“Displaying CoSIDA’s highest honors in the NCAA Hall of Champions is a true testament to both organizations’ shared objectives and the value we place on higher education and athletics,” said the NCAA’s Damon Schoening, who partnered with CoSIDA on the effort. “Our associations have a lot in common. So having the CoSIDA Academic All-American awards on our walls, along with so many other of the highest honors earned in college athletics, is fitting.”
“The ideal of the student- athlete is a reality lived each day by thousands of men and women who participate in NCAA athletics,” said Pat Haden, the athletics director at the University of Southern California who as an All-American at USC was indicted into CoSIDA’s first hall of fame class in 1988. “They devote as much time to the left side of the hyphen in ‘student-athlete’ as the right side.
“CoSIDA has recognized these athletes for years by bestowing the Academic All-America moniker. To me, there is no higher honor for an athlete who participates in intercollegiate athletics. It is right and fitting for them to be included in the NCAA Hall of Champions.”
The class of 2011 will be inducted at the annual CoSIDA Convention in Marco Island, Florida in June, 2011. Nominations are currently being solicited for the class of 2011.