Selection Process

A formal selection process determines which of the nation’s best NCAA® Division I senior student-athletes are nominated and chosen as candidates, finalists and winners of the Senior CLASS Award.

In the months leading up to the start of regular-season competition in each of 10 NCAA Division I sports, media relations directors submit nominations for the award. Depending on the number of schools that sponsor a particular sport, the Senior CLASS Award nomination committee selects 20 to 30 candidates from the nomination pool at the beginning of each college season. A national committee narrows this field to 10 finalists per sport approximately eight weeks before the respective NCCA championship. The names of these 10 athletes appear on the official ballot.

During the final six to eight weeks of the season, voting is conducted by three separate groups:

Voting Groups

  • Fans
  • NCAA Division I head coaches
  • National media covering the sport

Once finalists are selected, fan voting begins immediately and runs until approximately two weeks before the championship in that sport begins. Within the same time frame, Division I head coaches and national media cast their votes.

Each of the 10 finalists is assigned points based on their finish in each of the three voting categories. Points are then totaled and a winner is determined. Each voting category is weighted equally (e.g., the finalist who receives the most fan votes will get the same number of points for finishing first in that category as the finalist who receives the most number of coaches and/or media votes).

The winner is presented with the distinctive Senior CLASS Award® trophy at an NCAA championship or BCS event.  For men’s basketball, CBS Sports broadcaster Jim Nantz announces the winner during CBS’s coverage of the NCAA Final Four®.

Selection Criteria

Candidates must be NCAA Division I senior student-athletes who are in the final year of their collegiate athletics eligibility. Candidates are selected based on qualities that define a complete student-athlete and fall within the parameters of the four Cs:

• Involvement in community and charitable activities, both as part of a team-sponsored activity and/or on an individual basis.
• Utilization of his or her status as a student-athlete to make an impact in worthwhile causes.

• Successful progression toward a degree (either undergraduate or graduate).
• Academic achievements, college major and potential career interests.

• Demonstration of leadership characteristics both as a member of a team and as a student.
• Demonstration of a strong work ethic and/or the ability to overcome obstacles.

• Athletic achievements during an entire collegiate career with an emphasis on the most recent season of competition.
• Role played in the team’s overall success over the course of a season.

All four Cs are weighted equally.

A student-athlete can be a candidate for the Senior CLASS award only once unless his or her opportunity to be a finalist is jeopardized by illness, injury or other extenuating circumstances during his or her final year of athletic eligibility. The Senior CLASS Award selection committee reserves the right to determine an extenuating circumstance and to rule on such eligibility for the award.The Senior CLASS Award selection committee also reserves the right to remove any candidate or finalist from consideration for the award if that candidate or finalist displays behavior deemed detrimental to the integrity of the award.

Voting Procedures and Terms

As noted above, three separate and distinct voting groups are factored into a points system that will determine a winner in each sport. The following rules are in effect for voting:

• Fans are able to vote for as many as three finalists online at
• If the Senior CLASS Award determines that fraudulent voting has occurred, staff has the right to discount those fan votes in the overall totals for a particular finalist.
• Staff also reserves the right to block bots, voting scripts and computers from voting if it is deemed that those computers are registering votes in a fraudulent manner.