The University of the Cumberlands (UC) athletics department is recognized year in and year out as one of the most highly regarded departments in the country. One reason why UC is thought highly is its participation in the NAIA Champions of Character program. Once again, UC was named in the NAIA's latest announcement on the Champions of Character program.
The Patriots earned 75 points on the latest Champions of Character scorecard, naming University of the Cumberlands as a Five-Star Institution. This is the 13th year that UC has earned this ranking. Cumberlands ranked 2nd out of Mid-South Conference schools thus far on the scorecard behind Cumberland University who scored 88 points. The Mid-South Conference was well represented in this report as 90% of its member schools were honored on the scorecard by scoring the minimal 60 points required.
UC Vice President of Athletics Randy Vernon commented, "This is a tremendous honor for the University. This is something that the NAIA looks highly on and is something that the University can base its reputation on. We hope to maintain this and improve upon on it in the coming years."
The Champions of Character Scorecard measures each institution's commitment to the NAIA Champions of Character program. Points are earned in five key areas: character training, conduct in competition, character recognition, academic focus and character promotion.
This year, more than 80 percent of NAIA member institutions scored the 60 points necessary to be named Five-Star Champions of Character Institutions. Beyond Oklahoma Baptist, who scored 99 points out of 100 on the scorecard, top performers included: Central Methodist University (Mo.) and Columbia College (S.C), who tied for second with 98 total points, and California State University-Maritime and Edward Waters College (Fla.), who tied for fourth with 97 points.
In total, 217 schools were named Five-Star Champions of Character institutions for 2012-13. Among these honorees were 23 NAIA-member schools that have been recognized as Champions of Character Institutions (2002-09) and Champions of Character Five Star Institutions (2010-13) every year since the inception of the institutional award.