September 03, 2008

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(Kansas City, MO) - Football has long been a staple of college athletics and it will now be added to the roster of sports for the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award beginning with the upcoming 2008-09 season.  The award, presented annually to the outstanding NCAA Division I senior student-athlete in select intercollegiate sports, celebrates both on-field and off-field achievements. 

To be eligible for the football award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Football Division I Senior (in the Football Bowl Subdivision only) and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence:  Classroom, Character, Community, and Competition. 

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award has become a prestigious award within collegiate athletics because it focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages those leaders to use their platform in athletics to make an impact on their circle of influence.

“Lowe’s is excited to expand the Senior CLASS Award to include the sport of football,” said Tom Lamb, Vice President of Marketing at Lowe’s.  “With the popularity and attention given to NCAA Football, the award will rightly put the national spotlight on student-athletes who are active in their community, display exceptional character, and excel both on the field and in the classroom.”

Sportscaster Dick Enberg, Honorary Chairman of the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award, first conceived the idea of an award for seniors in 2001 in response to the growing trend of men’s basketball players leaving school early for the NBA. The award was launched to honor senior student-athletes for playing through their entire collegiate athletic eligibility and pursuing a degree. 

Lowe’s, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA and NCAA Football, expanded the award program in 2007 to include NCAA Division I men’s and women’s soccer, men’s ice hockey, men’s lacrosse, baseball, and softball in addition to men and women’s basketball.  With the addition of football this year, the number of sports encompassed by the nation’s premier award for seniors rises to nine.

“The Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award strives to emphasize the success stories in college sports,”  Lamb said.  “There are many senior athletes who are competing on the field and in the classroom while upholding high character standards and maintaining an active role in their community.  These individuals deserve to make headlines.”

An initial list of 30 candidates for the football division of the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award will be announced in September.  Following the announcement, the award’s selection committee will narrow the field to ten finalists midway through the regular season with each name then listed on the official ballot.  The ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select the candidate that best exemplifies excellence in the classroom, in their character, in their community, and in competition. 

The overall winner of the inaugural Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award for football will be presented with the coveted trophy during a 2008-09 post-season college football event. 

The Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award is sanctioned by the NCAA, promoted by CBS Sports and managed by Premier Sports Management.