Athletes Recognized for Community Service
SUNY Oneonta was one of three Division III schools across the country recognized for outstanding student-athlete engagement in community service by the National Association of Division III Athletic Administrators (NADIIIAA). SUNY Oneonta was selected as the overall winner in the One-Time Project category of this year’s NADIIIAA/JOSTENS Community Service Awards.
Presented in January during the NCAA Convention in Grapevine, Texas, the awards recognize community service projects performed by student-athletes during the 2011-12 academic year. Oneonta athletes were recognized for their flood-relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee in fall 2011.
Following the extreme devastation caused by the storms, Oneonta student-athletes and coaches provided more than 500 hours of community service in surrounding communities severely impacted by the rising floodwaters. Members of the SUNY Oneonta wrestling team provided cleanup and demolition labor for 90-year-old Schoharie, N.Y., resident Eugene Deitz, whose home had been under almost 8 feet of water. The wrestlers spent a grueling day removing muck and stripping the house to its bare frame, saving Deitz almost $15,000 in labor costs. The following two weekends, the wrestlers helped the family of teammate John Nolis of Owego in Appalachia, N.Y., again providing demolition and reconstruction help. Meanwhile, the women’s lacrosse team helped with relief efforts in the village of Sidney, N.Y., clearing debris and trash, and delivering food and supplies to families hard-hit by the storms.
SUNY Oneonta was one of 15 schools honored in three categories: One-Time Project, An Array of Projects and Ongoing Projects. One overall winner was selected in each category, along with four merit award winners and honorable mentions. This is the sixth time that Oneonta Athletics has been honored for its commitment to community service and the first time that Oneonta has been an overall winner in a category. The Athletics department received a trophy and $1,000 for the college’s general scholarship fund.
The awards program is co-sponsored by the NADIIIAA and Jostens and is intended to recognize the many contributions Division III student-athletes regularly make to their campuses and local communities. The NADIIIAA is an association composed of athletics administrators from the nearly 450 institutions and 43 conferences competing at the NCAA Division III level.