ORLANDO, Fla., - Hampton University won its 11th consecutive Mary McLeod Bethune Women’s All-Sports Award and Norfolk State captured its eighth consecutive Talmadge Layman Hill Men’s Award, the league announced on Tuesday.
The All-Sports Awards highlight the overall strengths of their respective men’s and women’s athletic programs. Each institution was presented a $20,000 check during a reception at the Rosen Shingles Creek Hotel in Orlando, Florida on Tuesday evening.
“I would like to congratulate Norfolk State University including President Tony Atwater, Director of Athletics Marty Miller, and the administrators, coaches, student-athletes and support staff for winning the 2012 Talmadge Layman Hill Award,” said MEAC Commissioner Dennis Thomas. “I also extend congratulations to Hampton University and President William R. Harvey, Interim Director of Athletics Malcolm Avery and all of the outstanding individuals including staff, coaches and student-athletes who were involved in winning the Mary McLeod Bethune Award.
The University of Maryland Eastern Shore was recognized during the reception as the 2011 recipient of the MEAC Highest Graduation Success Rate (GSR) Award for third straight year. In addition to the recognition, UMES was presented a check for $25,000. UMES’ 90-percent GSR is the highest among any MEAC institution spanning the 2001-2004 cohorts.
“I am also excited to commend the University of Maryland Eastern Shore for achieving the Highest Graduation Success rate in the MEAC for the third straight year,” stated Thomas. “I applaud UMES for making a commitment to its student-athletes’ academic success and their ultimate collegiate goal of obtaining a college degree.”
Hampton’s women’s programs totaled 99.5 points in the All-Sports tally. The Lady Pirates won conference titles in Women’s Cross Country, Women’s Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field, and Women’s Basketball. The Lady Pirates also earned the conference automatic bid to the 2012 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Tournament.
Florida A&M finished second on the women’s side with 88.5 points. Maryland Eastern Shore women’s programs finished third with 86 points, followed by Morgan State with 71.
The NSU Spartans men’s programs totaled 90 points and earned conference titles in Football, all three tracks including Cross Country, Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field, and were victorious in the MEAC Basketball Tournament to earn its first berth to the NCAA Tournament. The 15th seeded Spartan men’s basketball team received national attention after becoming the fifth team in the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball tournament history, third MEAC team, to defeat a number two seed (Missouri).
Bethune-Cookman finished second with 67.5 points on the men’s side followed by Florida A&M (62.5) and North Carolina A&T (57).
Points are awarded in a descending order beginning with 14 points for champions or first place regular season finishes. The second place teams get 12 points. Tied teams split the total points. The conference’s newest members, North Carolina Central University and Savannah State University, that begin MEAC play this season were also eligible for the All-Sports’ Award.
Hampton has won 14 overall All-Sports trophies since joining the MEAC in 1996 (three men’s awards including back-to-back victories in 2003 and 2004, and 11 straight women’s awards, dating back to 2002). Norfolk State, which joined the conference in 1997, won its first men’s trophy in 2001 and boasts eight consecutive awards.
The Mary McLeod Bethune and Talmadge Layman Hill Awards
The Mary McLeod Bethune Award, named after the founder of Bethune-Cookman College, awards the top overall women’s athletic program during the course of one full academic year. The first Mary McLeod Bethune award was giving in 1987 to Delaware State University. Hampton leads all MEAC schools with 11 Women’s Awards. The men’s All-Sports Award is named after the late Talmadge Layman Hill, a former player and coach at Morgan State, and former Chairman of the MEAC Steering and Planning Committee, as well as the conference’s first President. Howard University was the recipient of the first Talmadge Layman Hill Award in 1972. South Carolina State holds the men’s record with 11 awards from 1973-84.