Teams to compete for Lee Spencer Cup

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Through a generous gift from Greg and Hannah Lee, the University of Arkansas Athletic Department’s CHAMPS/Life Skills program is establishing the Lee Spencer Cup to annually recognize the Razorback team that earns distinction in the classroom, in athletic competition, in personal development and in the community.

The competition will involve all 19 Razorback men’s and women’s athletic teams and will be based on points earned in the various areas of accomplishment beginning with the 2009-10 academic year.

The NCAA CHAMPS/Life Skills program is part of The Office of Student Life. The Student-Athlete Support for Success and Achievement staff has used the program for a number of years to enrich the lives of UA’s student-athletes in the areas of academic excellence, athletic excellence, personal development, career development and community service.

The team earning the most points for commitment, character and integrity in the areas of academics, athletics, leadership and personal development, service, team spirit and Razorback excellence wins the Lee Spencer Cup for that year. Rankings in the Lee Spencer Cup standings will be updated each month. Any team with participation from coaches earns double points. The winning team will be presented the cup by Greg and Hannah Lee, and Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics Jeff Long at the first home football game the following year.

"We are excited about the establishment of the Lee Spencer Cup to recognize the outstanding achievements of our more than 460 student-athletes," Long said. "The competition is designed to promote student-athlete involvement in campus-wide programming, community service, leadership and personal development while preparing our student-athletes for life after athletics. We are grateful to Greg and Hannah Lee for their support in making the Lee Spencer Cup the standard of excellence for Razorback Athletic teams."

The Lee family made the establishment of the Lee Spencer Cup possible with a $250,000 endowment. The late Lee Spencer was a longtime Razorback fan and member of the Razorback Foundation. Those interested in making a contribution to the endowment fund should contact Senior Associate Athletic Director Chris Wyrick for more information.

"Our family was close to Lee’s family and one of the things we shared was a great interest in the Razorbacks," Greg Lee says. "The endowment is in recognition of how much pleasure the Razorbacks have given us and Lee. Our original thought was to establish a scholarship in his name. Jeff (Long) said he would be thrilled with that, but he had an idea for a life skills program.

"Lee was always interested in the student-athletes and the kids personally. This competition involves every team and makes it a broad-based program. We liked it and thought it was a very fitting way to honor Lee, his life in the community, the university and the kids, and his desire for the kids to grow and be successful. Anything that gives them the chance to be successful and grow will honor Lee and serve the kids well."

In the academics area, teams earn points for a set percentage of each official roster making the Chancellor or Dean’s lists, the highest team grade point average, escalating point values for team grade point averages, Southeastern Conference Academic All-Conference selections and NCAA Academic All-District or All-America selections.

In the athletics area, points will be awarded for earning a BCS bowl appearance, winning the BCS national championship, winning a bowl game, winning the SEC championship or tournament, earning an NCAA Tournament appearance, winning the NCAA championship, earning all-conference honors and earning All-America honors.

For leadership and personal development, points awarded are determined by a percentage of student-athletes from each team serving as educational speakers, attending career service functions, attending job fairs, participating with the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and for supporting other teams on campus.

The service area awards points based on percentages of roster participation in community service events with bonus points if each averages more than two hours and bonus points for a team-organized activity.

The team spirit area, referred to as Razorback Code Red, awards points based on a percentage of roster participation in attending events and supporting other teams on campus.

A Razorback Excellence category allows for bonus points to be awarded to any individual student-athlete or team exhibiting exemplary efforts by going above and beyond the areas listed above.