Rio named Champions of Character
Five-Star Institution

NAIA Sports Information

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The University of Rio Grande is one of 217 NAIA member schools to be named a Champions of Character Five-Star Institution for the 2012-13 school year.

Rio Grande also is among 23 schools nationwide that have been recognized as Champions of Character Institutions (2002-09) and Champions of Character Five-Star Institutions (2010-13) every year since the inception of the institutional award.

The Champions of Character Scorecard measures each institution's commitment to the NAIA Champions of Character program. Points are earned in five key areas: character training, conduct in competition, character recognition, academic focus and character promotion.

This year, more than 80 percent of NAIA member institutions scored the 60 points necessary to be named Five-Star Champions of Character Institutions. NAIA-member institutions averaged a 67.48 score on the Champions of Character Scorecard, which is comparable to the 2011-12 mark of 67.63. However, among Five-Star Champions of Character Institutions, the average score is 73.55—an improvement of over a point from last years' figure of 71.91.

The University of Rio Grande finished with a tally of 69 on the scorecard.

The biggest change from last year came in the conduct in competition category. For the 2011-12 season, NAIA programs accumulated 630 ejections. That number dropped to 578 for 2012-13.

For the second-straight year, all 23 NAIA Conferences were named Five Star Champions of Character Conferences. This distinction is bestowed on every conference in which 60 percent of the member institutions earn Champions of Character Five Star Institution status.

Since 1937, the NAIA has administered programs and championships in proper balance with the overall educational experience. In 2000, the NAIA reaffirmed its purpose to enhance the character-building aspects of sport. Through the Champions of Character program, the NAIA seeks to create an environment in which every student-athlete, coach, official and spectator is committed to the true spirit of competition through five core values: integrity, respect, responsibility, sportsmanship and servant leadership.