The student -athletes competing at Howard Payne are among nearly 170,000 students who play varsity sports in the NCAA's largest division, and all are joining in the second annual celebration of Division III Week. Division III student -athletes play for the love of the game, while excelling in the classroom and demonstrating leadership, community service and campus involvement.
"What a great way for the NCAA to honor and recognize Division III student-athletes and institutions," said Mike Jones, Howard Payne University Director of Athletics. "To me, NCAA Division III athletics is college athletics at its purest and finest. Our student athletes are students first, seeking a degree, and athletes second, playing for the love of the game. As an athletics department and university, we are very proud of their accomplishments on the field, in the classroom, and in the community."
Howard Payne University student-athletes have excelled in the classroom and in the arena of competition. HPU had thirty-six student-athletes from its football, volleyball, women's soccer, men's soccer, and women's and men's cross country teams named to the 2012 American Southwest Conference Fall All-Academic Honor Roll. Six were also named to the ASC Distinguished Scholar-Athlete team.
Many HPU student-athletes get plugged into the community working with local youth sports teams as coaches or help conduct the youth sport summer camps that Howard Payne puts on each summer and throughout the year. The men's and women's tennis teams are currently holding 10 and Under Tennis camps on Monday evenings sponsored by the USTA. The program goals are to help promote an active lifestyle and a love for tennis into children.
Howard Payne athletic teams also have been involved outside of sports in the community. For the past several semesters the HPU football and women's basketball teams have been reading with students in local elementary schools. Women's soccer, women's basketball and softball have had pink games for the past few seasons in which the teams wear pink to bring awareness to impact breast cancer has on many women's lives. The teams have raise funds and donated to organizations helping to fight the disease.
The NCAA Division III Week follows the observance of National Student-Athlete Day on April 6 in which Howard Payne will honor 94 student-athletes for the work in the classroom, on the field of competition and in the community.
Learn more about Division III at www NCAA.org , on the Division III Facebook page, or at NCAA Division III on Twitter.