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Cougars to be Honored on TV

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December 15, 2009
Gary Pine

AZUSA, Calif. -- The Azusa Pacific University intercollegiate athletics program will be honored in a nationally televised broadcast of the 11th Annual AT&T National Sportsmanship Awards Presentation this week on CBS College Sports Television.

Azusa Pacific is one of 14 honorees recognized in a ceremony held last month for uncommon sportsmanship displayed over the past year. Included among the other honorees during the night’s inspirational celebration were the New York Yankees, Ohio State University and Albert Pujols of Major League Baseball’s St. Louis Cardinals.

One of the most meaningful and inspiring nights in sports, the AT&T National Sportsmanship Awards took place on Nov. 21 at the Chase Park Plaza Hotel in St. Louis. The event recognizes the most remarkable examples of sportsmanship – honoring athletes and personalities from around the nation for their integrity, class, selflessness, perseverance, kindness and community service.

Director of Athletics Bill Odell represented Azusa Pacific, which was awarded for its unique display of selflessness in assisting conference rival Westmont College, and in particular its men’s soccer program, days after the Tea Fire had displaced the entire Westmont student body and numerous faculty and staff members.

The telecast will feature the most compelling highlights and honoree stories from the live awards presentation in St. Louis. Along with Azusa Pacific, other award recipients and stories featured in the broadcast include:

Kris Hogan and Grapevine Faith High School (Grapevine, Texas), who encouraged fans of the school’s football team to cheer for an opposing squad made up of inmates from a correctional facility north of Dallas so they would know that despite their situation, people care about and believe in them.
Monte Vista High School (Danville, Calif.), whose students and parents raised $1,100 to cover travel expenses for the McClymonds High School (Oakland, Calif.) basketball team to play in the California state championship when they learned that McClymonds didn’t have the funds to make the trip. Monte Vista had just lost to McClymonds in the playoffs.
Darius McNeal, a player on the DeKalb (Ill.) High School basketball team, who intentionally missed two free throws after a technical foul was called against opponent Milwaukee Madison High School. The technical had been assessed because a Madison player entered the game without being on the pregame roster. The player wasn’t expected to play that night because his mother had passed away from cancer earlier that day.
• Yankees pitcher A.J. Burnett, who stayed at Yankee Stadium until 3 a.m. after a game this season to hang out and play wiffle ball with kids from Camp Sundown, a retreat for children who suffer from XP, a rare genetic disorder that prevents them from going outdoors in daylight.

CBS College Sports Television, a subsidiary of the CBS Television Network, will broadcast a one-hour show of the awards presentation, beginning with the premiere telecast Wednesday (Dec. 16) at 6 p.m. Replay telecasts will air Thursday (Dec. 17) at 6 a.m. and 7 p.m., Saturday (Dec. 19) at 3 a.m. and 5 p.m., Sunday (Dec. 20) at 9 a.m., 3 p.m. and 9 p.m., and Monday (Dec. 21) at 8 a.m. (all times are Pacific Standard).

Formerly known as CSTV, CBS College Sports Television is available on most cable outlets throughout Southern California. Check your cable guide for exact channel location of CBS College Sports Television.

For more information on the AT&T National Sportsmanship Awards and to view stories for all of the 2009 award recipients, visit the St. Louis Sports Commission website.