Marks named finalist for ARA Sportsmanship award

Quarterback is one of 10 players nationally

December 11, 2006 · MT Media Relations

Glenview, Ill.- The Awards and Recognition Association (ARA) has named Middle Tennessee's Clint Marks as one of10 finalists for its annual sportsmanship award, given to one outstanding NCAA Division I collegiate football player who best personifies the spirit of sportsmanship.

Marks, a second team all-conference player, participated on the Lightning Relief Team to help tornado clean up efforts in Gallatin, Tenn., this past summer. Marks is also involved with the Murfreesboro City Schools mentoring program, the B.R.A.S.S program, which encourages student-athletes to become involved in service activities, Special Olympics, and Reading Raiders. Finalists for the 2006 sportsmanship award represent a variety of schools of all sizes and locations throughout the United States. Award criteria take into consideration the athlete's conduct both on and off the field.

"The ARA Sportsmanship Award was created to recognize outstanding character and leadership as it translates to sportsmanship," said Rich Zydonik, president of the ARA. "As expected, each finalist is an athletic stand out and consistently performs on the field. It's encouraging to see so many of today's collegiate athletes who consistently conduct themselves in a highly sportsmanlike manner."

To qualify for the award, an athlete must be a starting player or significant contributor on his team, be a senior in good academic standing, demonstrate great respect for competitors, school, teammates and coaches, show an ability to accept victory and defeat graciously, convey a high degree of humility and integrity, and demonstrate commitment in the classroom and to the community.

Former Brigham Young University Head Football Coach LaVell Edwards chairs the selection committee. The 2006 award recipient will be announced in mid-December.

The finalists, in alphabetical order, are: Rusty Clayton, University of Memphis, Doug Datish, Ohio State University, Janiah Downing, Illinois State University, Brian Leonard, Rutgers University, Clint Marks, Middle Tennessee, Brad Maurer, Lafayette College, Joe Newton, Oregon State University, Darnell Smith, Oklahoma State University, Scott Smith, University of California, Berkeley, and Eric Weddle, University of Utah.

All NCAA Division I schools were eligible to submit nominations for the ARA Sportsmanship Award. The winner will be selected by a blue-ribbon panel of former football coaches, sports and media professionals and representatives from ARA and other complementary organizations.

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