Kansas Wins Naismith Student Section of the Year Award
March 14, 2012
ATLANTA, Ga. – As the Kansas Jayhawks prepare for their 23rd straight NCAA Men’s basketball
Tournament appearance, KU has already earned a couple of national titles this month. The Collegiate Licensing Company (CLC) and the Atlanta Tipoff Club today announced The University of Kansas as the winner of the inaugural Naismith Student Section of the Year Award.
The award comes with a $5,000 cash award, which Kansas Athletics will direct to the University’s general scholarship fund. A formal presentation of the award will take place at a home men’s basketball game at the beginning of the 2012-13 season.
Earlier this week, Inside Higher Ed declared KU the champion of the 2012 “Academic NCAA Tournament,” which is based on the Academic Progress Rates of the 68 teams in the 2012 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. KU also won that competition in 2010 and reached the “Final Four” last year.
“We have the best students and fans in the country, and we are thrilled to now have national confirmation of what we have always known.” Kansas head coach Bill Self
The Naismith Awards Board of Selectors chose the Kansas basketball student section for the award from a field of eight finalists. An original field of some 80 entries was narrowed to eight by two rounds of public Facebook votes. Selection criteria included the student section’s name and attendance, as well as photos, video, a write-up submitted by the nominating school, as well as a weighted score based on the public vote. The contest was launched nationally Nov. 15. KU led the way into the final round of scoring with the highest vote tally throughout the first and second rounds of the public vote.
Kansas clearly outlasted the remaining candidates, the Board of Selectors said, noting KU’s 4,000-seat student section’s unique traditions, which include a student-run “camping for seats” system (many days in advance), filling the seats adjacent to James Naismith Court two hours before tip-off, throwing newspaper confetti during player introductions, standing the entire game, and leading the famous Rock Chalk Chant.
“We have the best students and fans in the country, and we are thrilled to now have national confirmation of what we have always known,” said head coach Bill Self, who has led the Jayhawks into the tournament in each of his nine seasons at Kansas. “Our student section starts prepping for games days before tip-off; they stand by our team the entire game, giving us an unbelievable home-court advantage. We thank the Naismith Awards organization and CLC for establishing this unique award and selecting our Kansas students.”
The Atlanta Tipoff Club, co-presenter of the award, has long been involved in college sports. It has presented the Naismith Trophy, recognizing the college basketball player of the year, since 1969. KU’s Danny Manning won the award in 1988.
“We are thrilled that so many Division I basketball schools nominated their student section to be named the best fans in college basketball, and applaud Jayhawk fans for displaying such passion,” said Eric Oberman, Executive Director of the Atlanta Tipoff Club. “We look forward to adding another chapter of Kansas Basketball to our storied Naismith Awards family.”
“College basketball student sections love college hoops and bring the emotion, energy, and spirit that define the home court advantage, and we want to celebrate that,” added Tim Hawks, Senior Director of Brand & Retail Development for CLC. “We are proud to recognize the Kansas students as the winner of the inaugural Naismith Student Section of the Year Award and congratulate them on a tremendous effort to rally their fans to vote in this competition.”
Complete details on the selection process can be found at facebook.com/ilovecollegehoops.