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Sarah Unruh ’12

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Bethel gets five stars on Champions of Character Scorecard

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NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College has been named a Champions of Character Five Star Institution by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA)

The NAIA launched the Champions of Character Scorecard in 2009 for the purpose of converting the NAIA’s vision and strategy into measurable goals and to monitor progress towards advancing character-driven intercollegiate athletics.

The Champions of Character Scorecard encompasses efforts from across the NAIA and signals important differences in how the NAIA conducts athletic competition. Though not required to participate in the Scorecard initiative, in order to be recognized as a Champions of Character Five Star Institution, NAIA member institutions will need to score 60 or more out of a possible 100 points.

Institutions are measured based on demonstrated commitment to Champions of Character and may earn points in each of the following categories: character training, conduct in competition, academic focus, character recognition and character promotion. Institutions may earn points based on exceptional student-athlete grade point averages and by having zero ejections during competition throughout the course of the academic year. Conferences will receive a Five Star rating if 60 percent of their membership meets the criteria.

Schools that reach a 60 or higher point total will be recognized on the NAIA Champions of Character website and receive a special web banner noting the honor. The institution’s president and athletic director will be recognized at the NAIA annual convention.

“It is my hope that the Champions of Character Scorecard will assist us in our efforts to change the culture of sports,” said Rob Haworth, NAIA vice president for Champions of Character. “Although there are many indicators that could be used to demonstrate a dedication to Champions of Character, those identified on the Scorecard represent a commitment that could be found on any NAIA campus.”

The NAIA boasts a proud reputation for a model of intercollegiate athletics that simultaneously promotes competitive athletics, academic excellence and character values. The process is based on the NAIA’s flagship program Champions of Character, which emphasizes the five core values of integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership. Champions of Character was launched in 2000 in response to the growing problem of deteriorating standards of integrity in sports and society.

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2010-11 analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States and is in the first tier in its category in the U.S. News & World Report annual ranking of “America’s Top Colleges” for 2011. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. In sports, Bethel competes in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) and the NAIA.

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