President Benson Named to NCAA Honors Committee

File photo of Benson celebrating victory w football team

Eastern Kentucky University President Michael Benson has been appointed to represent Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) institutions on the nine-member NCAA Honors Committee.

Benson is the first Ohio Valley Conference president to serve on the committee.

“This is an important committee for the NCAA that celebrates history and important contributions individuals have made to intercollegiate athletics,” said OVC Commissioner Beth DeBauche. “Dr. Benson’s passion for intercollegiate athletics will serve this committee well. The OVC is fortunate to have such an engaged presidential leader.”

Benson’s term begins immediately and will continue through the January 2018 NCAA Convention. The Committee selects award recipients for the annual Honors Dinner: the Theodore Roosevelt Award, Silver Anniversary Awards, Today’s Top Eight Awards, Inspiration Award and Award of Valor. Its first scheduled meeting is scheduled for Jan. 26, 2015, in conjunction with the Honors Celebration at the NCAA Convention in Washington, D.C.

The committee is comprised of one current or former chancellor or president from a member institution, one member from each division and subdivision of Division I and three nationally distinguished citizens, one of which must be a former NCAA honors recipient. The committee currently includes Pro Football Hall of Famer and former Congressman Steve Largent.

EKU has enjoyed considerable athletics success in the OVC and FCS. The Colonel football team (which won national Division I-AA titles in 1979 and 1982) made the FCS playoffs this year, eight months after the EKU men’s basketball team qualified for the NCAA tournament and led highly favored Kansas in the second half before bowing 80-69 in the first round. Also, Eastern’s cross country teams perennially rank among the nation’s best.

In addition, since arriving as EKU’s president in July 2013, Benson set out to upgrade many of the University’s athletics facilities.

“President Benson will be a wonderful addition to the Honors Committee,” said EKU Athletics Director Mark Sandy. “His understanding and insight with regard to college athletics is exceptional.”

Published on November 25, 2014

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