December 19, 2012

NEAC Sportsmanship Story Chosen for National NCAA/D3SIDA Award

GANSEVOORT, N.Y. – An article published by the North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC), which described a tremendous act of sportsmanship by Penn State Abington senior Kimberly Ochester, was recently selected as the top honoree in a quarterly recognition program jointly sponsored by the NCAA and the Division III College Sports Information Directors of America (D3SIDA).  

The story, which dives into Ochester’s background as a nontraditional student on the Abington women’s tennis team and also revisits the day Ochester offered tennis pointers to a younger, inexperienced and overmatched opponent playing for a first-year program last spring, was selected by a panel of sports information directors representing D3SIDA as the best work from the summer of 2012 portraying the Division III model of intercollegiate athletics.

“Athletics communicators play a crucial role in promoting the Division III model of intercollegiate athletics, which encourages student-athletes to ‘follow their passions and develop their potential,’ ” said Dan Dutcher, NCAA Division III vice president, through a press release.  “This outstanding work is a laudable example of the ways in which our member institutions portray the Division III philosophy as it is practiced on our campuses.”

The original article can be viewed on the NEAC website by clicking here.  The full press release from the NCAA regarding the award selection can be viewed here.

“I am honored by the selection of our article for this award by the NCAA and D3SIDA panel and want to thank all those involved,” said NEAC assistant commissioner Eugenio Mercurio, who wrote the article.  “Once I began learning about Kimberly’s background as I was putting the piece together, I instantly felt that her life story coupled with her specific act of sportsmanship that day was the ultimate reflection of what being a Division III student-athlete truly stands for.  For me, the greatest achievement with receiving this award is it will now allow Kimberly’s tremendous story to be seen on a national level, which she truly deserves.”

"I am so pleased that the NEAC received this honor from the NCAA and D3SIDA,” said NEAC commissioner Candice Poiss Murray.  “This article demonstrates the importance of sports information directors at the NCAA Division III institutional and conference level and the impact they have on the stories we share with the world.  The NEAC was able to hire Eugenio with the NCAA Strategic Alliance Matching grant and therefore also have such a positive impact not only on the NEAC but also the NCAA Division III level.  The true student-athlete shown here is what we work for every day."

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The North Eastern Athletic Conference has thirteen NCAA Division III member institutions which include: Cazenovia College, College of St. Elizabeth, Gallaudet University, Keuka College, Lancaster Bible College, Pennsylvania State University - Abington, Pennsylvania State University - Berks, Pennsylvania State University -Harrisburg, SUNY Cobleskill, SUNY Institute of Technology, SUNY Morrisville State College, Wells College, and Wilson College.  Associate members are: Hilbert College (M Lacrosse), Medaille College (M&W Lacrosse) and Rutgers University - Camden (M Golf & M Tennis).  The North Eastern Athletic Conference has partnered with the North Atlantic Conference in the sports of men’s and women’s tennis.