KOKOMO, Ind. — Indiana University Kokomo’s athletic department was one of 74 earning the gold distinction on the NAIA Champions of Character Five-Star Institution scorecard.
“It shows we value the holistic educational model of athletics,” said Greg Cooper, athletic director. “It’s a really good program that makes sure you’re focused on your core values, not just about winning on the court. It’s about the academics, the external relations, and doing things the right way. It’s a testament to the amount of service our teams are doing.”
Cougar athletes have served with Habitat for Humanity, the American Red Cross, Special Olympics, Bona Vista, and Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health, among others.
The Champions of Character scorecard measures growth in training, promotion, conduct in competition, and commitment in character training, conduct in competition, academic focus, character recognition, and character promotion, with a possibility of earning 100 points.
Scoring is based on exceptional student-athlete grade point averages, and having minimal to no ejections from competition during the academic year.
Recognition can be earned at the gold level for 90 to 100 points, silver for 75 to 89 points, and bronze for 60 to 70 points.
This year, 171 NAIA institutions earned the Five-Star Institution award, including 74 earning gold, 62 silver, and 35 bronze.
IU Kokomo was one of four River States Conference schools that earned gold status, and Cooper noted that that 13-member conference also earned the Five-Star Conference award, with at least 60 percent of its schools receiving the Five-Star award.
“It’s a really good program that makes sure you’re focused on your core values,” said Cooper.
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.