ATLANTA, March 1, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- As the 2014 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship approaches, the University of Virginia has already earned one national title this season. The Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC) and the Atlanta Tipoff Club announced today that Virginia has won the third annual Naismith Student Section of the Year Award.
A total of 255 schools representing 32 conferences submitted entries for the award, which was launched nationally on January 22. The Virginia basketball student section, named the 'Hoo Crew, topped seven other top candidates: Arizona State University, University of Colorado, Illinois State University, Indiana University, University of Kansas, University of Minnesota, and Virginia Commonwealth University.
Virginia was selected following two rounds of public voting on Facebook and Twitter and a scoring of the finalists by the Naismith Awards Board of Selectors. Scoring for the top-eight finalists was based upon the student section's ranking during the two rounds of public voting, a video submission showcasing the spirit of the student section, any organized efforts to promote voting for the award, as well as the group's support of any philanthropic cause during the season.
With the field narrowed to eight finalists after two rounds of public voting, Virginia's students prevailed over the seven other candidates. The Board of Directors noted Virginia's top-two finishes in each round of voting, its participation in the Keep America Beautiful RecycleMania program and its robust plan to promote voting for the award as key factors in Virginia's win.
"The Virginia basketball family would like to congratulate the 'Hoo Crew on earning this national award," said Virginia head coach Tony Bennett. "They have done a great job creating a home court advantage for us at John Paul Jones Arena. Our players feed off their energy and enthusiasm, and it makes for a great game day experience for everyone at JPJ."
The Naismith Student Section of the Year Award is dedicated to celebrating the students and fans that love college basketball and provide support to their college basketball team with passion and devotion.
"Our hats are off to Virginia's 'Hoo Crew," said Eric Oberman, executive director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club, which administers the Naismith Awards. "Their passion and enthusiasm for Virginia basketball helped them beat out more than 250 student sections across the nation. We applaud their efforts and are pleased to welcome them to our Naismith Awards family."
"College basketball student sections help define a team's home court advantage with their infectious spirit and energy, and we want to celebrate that," said Catherine Gammon, Senior Vice President of Brand Development for CLC, the licensing affiliate of IMG College. "We are proud to recognize the Virginia 'Hoo Crew for winning the 2014 Naismith Student Section of the Year Award and we congratulate them on an outstanding effort throughout each portion of the competition."
As winners of the Naismith Student Section of the Year Award, the 'Hoo Crew has earned a $10,000 donation towards the University of Virginia's general scholarship fund. A formal presentation of the award was made Saturday, during Virginia's men's basketball game at home versus Syracuse University.
Previous Naismith Student Section of the Year Award Winners
2012 – Kansas
2013 – VCU
About The Collegiate Licensing Company
CLC is a division of global sports and entertainment company IMG. Founded in 1981, CLC is the oldest and largest collegiate trademark licensing agency in the U.S. and currently represents nearly 200 colleges, universities, bowl games, athletic conferences, The Heisman Trophy and the NCAA. The mission of CLC is to be the guiding force in collegiate trademark licensing and one of the top sports licensing firms in the country. CLC is dedicated to being a center of excellence in providing licensing services of the highest quality to its member institutions, licensees, retailers and consumers. Headquartered in Atlanta, CLC is a full-service licensing representative, which employs a staff of more than 90 licensing professionals who provide full-service capabilities in brand protection, brand management, and brand development. For more information on CLC, visit: CLC.com or IMGCollege.com.
About The Atlanta Tipoff Club
The Atlanta Tipoff Club, an Atlanta Sports Council property, is committed to promoting the game of basketball and recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of those who make the game so exciting. The Atlanta Tipoff Club, founded during the 1956-57 season, has presented the Naismith Trophy every year since UCLA's Lew Alcindor first won the award in 1969. Kansas' Danny Manning won the award in 1988. Old Dominion's Anne Donovan won the inaugural Women's Naismith Trophy in 1983. The Naismith Award has become the most prestigious award in all of college basketball, recognizing the Men's and Women's College Basketball Player of the Year, Men's and Women's College Basketball Coach of the Year, as well as awards for outstanding achievement in high school basketball, officiating, and contribution to the game.
About University of Virginia
The University of Virginia was founded in 1819 by Thomas Jefferson, who outlined the institution's purpose, designed its buildings, supervised construction, planned the curriculum and directed the recruitment of the first faculty. As the first Rector of the University, Jefferson presided over the school's governing body, known as the Board of Visitors. James Madison and James Monroe were members of the board in the early years. When it opened for classes in 1825, the University of Virginia represented a dramatic innovation in American education. In an era when colleges trained students almost exclusively for teaching and the ministry, Jefferson dedicated his University to the education of leaders in practical affairs and public service.
SOURCE The Collegiate Licensing Company