Hampton and Bethune-Cookman Selected as the 2014 All-Sports Award Winners
The All-Sports Award highlights the overall strengths of the conference’s men’s and women’s athletic programs. Each institution was presented with a $20,000 check during a reception at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia on Tuesday evening.
“I would like to congratulate Bethune-Cookman University including President Edison Jackson, Director of Athletics Lynn Thompson, and the administrators, coaches, student-athletes and support staff for winning the 2014 Talmadge Layman Hill Award,” said MEAC Commissioner Dennis Thomas. “I also extend congratulations to Hampton University and President William R. Harvey, Director of Athletics Novelle Dickenson and all of the outstanding individuals including staff, coaches and student-athletes who were involved in the women’s programs winning the Mary McLeod Bethune Award.
The University of Maryland Eastern Shore was recognized during the reception as the 2013 recipient of the MEAC Highest Graduation Success Rate (GSR) for the fifth straight year. In addition to the recognition, UMES was presented a check for $25,000. UMES’ 89-percent GSR is the highest among any MEAC institution spanning the 2003-06 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 fifth straight year,” stated Thomas. “I applaud UMES, President Juliette B. Bell and Director of Athletics Keith Davidson 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 98 points in the All-Sports tally. The Lady Pirates won conference titles in Volleyball, Indoor Track and Field, Women’s Basketball, and Outdoor Track and Field. Hampton also earned conference automatic bids to the 2014 NCAA Women’s Division I Volleyball and Women’s Basketball Tournaments.
For the third year in a row Florida A&M finished second on the women’s side with 94 points while Norfolk State moved up to third with 82 points. Bethune-Cookman (79 points) and Morgan State (75.5 points) finished fourth and fifth respectively.
The Bethune-Cookman men’s program totaled 88 points and earned conference titles for the first time in Baseball and Men’s Golf. The Wildcats marked the conference’s first Men’s Golf Champion since the sport was discontinued in 1983.
Florida A&M finished second on the men side (79.5) followed by Hampton (71) at third, N.C. Central (56.5) fourth and Maryland Eastern Shore rounding out the top five positions.
Points are awarded in a descending order beginning with 14 points for champions or first place regular season finishes. The second place team receives 12 points. Tied teams split the point total.
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.