HOGSPYs Intended As Entertaining Twist On Year-End Razorback Award Ceremonies

by Chris Bahn  on Thursday, May. 3, 2012 11:00 am  

This story is from the archives of ArkansasSports360.com.

Awards ceremonies recognizing academic and athletic achievements have become the norm for most athletic departments.

Events celebrating achievements have become so routine that they are, well, routine.  

That’s why Arkansas is hosting what it hopes can be a more entertaining and rewarding event for its athletes. Tonight’s HOGSPY Awards Ceremony is intended to be a twist on what has become standard fare.

All 400-plus Arkansas athletes have been invited to the event, which is being held at the Fayetteville Town Center. They’ll get the red carpet treatment — complete with video and still photography — and then participate in a ceremony recognizing achievements from April 2011 through April 2012.

“This is different than anything else we’ve done,” said Eric Wood, the associate athletic director for academics and student development. “This is one event where they can be recognized in front of their peers and in front of the athletic department staff. It should be high energy and a fun way to recognize all they’ve accomplished.”

Honors include: male and female recipients of the Razorback Leadership Academy Distinguished Leaders Award, Rookie of the Year, Top Graduating Senior, Hog Tough Award, Academic Merit Recognition, Personal Best Recognition, Brandon Burlsworth Award, High Academic Merit Recognition, Academic Team of the Year, Student-Athletes of the Year, Lee Spencer Cup Champion, Play of the Year, Senior Plaque distribution and Scholar-Athletes of the Year.

A pair of Razorback athletes came up with the idea in 2010 after serving as delegates to SEC meetings in Birmingham, Ala. Tennessee had the “Volscars,” Kentucky the “Catspys” and Ole Miss the “Rebel’s Choice” awards and Wood was approached about launching something similar at Arkansas.

A year of planning and a sizable donor gift to the athletic department made the night possible.

Members of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee selected the award categories. Coaches nominated athletes and a committee headed by academic advisor Monica Jones pared down the list to a group of finalists. Senior athletic department staff chose the winners, which will be announced tonight.

ESPN analyst and former Razorback basketball walk-on Jimmy Dykes is the emcee. Athletes will serve as presenters and several video packages highlighting the last year will be part of the ceremony.

"It's done by the athletes, for the athletes," Wood said. "It's something they seem to be looking forward to doing."



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