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October 26, 1999

NACDA Foundation Awards Scholarships To Kickoff And Pigskin Classic Student-Athletes

CLEVELAND -- The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) Foundation will provide a special scholarship grant to one member of each team that participated in the 1999 Kickoff Classic and Pigskin Classic, the two NACDA-sponsored preseason football games. NACDA President Dave Hart, Jr., athletics director at Florida State University, made the announcement today.

Four $5,000 grants, a total of $20,000, are awarded annually to a varsity football letterwinner from each team. The student-athlete must be in his final year of eligibility and carry a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. NACDA's charitable arm, the NACDA Foundation, provides the funds for the scholarships for use in postgraduate study.

"The recipient of the scholarship can be anyone the athletics department of each university wishes; it does not have to be a star or a starter," says Hart. "This furthers the NACDA Foundation's commitment to providing advanced educational opportunities for student-athletes."

In 1999, Penn State University defeated the University of Arizona, 41-7 in Pigskin Classic X, while the University of Miami stopped Ohio State University, 23-12 in Kickoff Classic XVII.

Winners of the 1999 scholarship grants are:

Undergrad.

NameSchoolPositionGPAMajor
Travis ForneyPenn StateKicker3.79Elem. Education
Kevin HouserOhio StateTight End3.27Finance
Jeff PopovichMiamiSafety3.43Biomedical Engineering
David VasquezArizonaLinebacker3.00Accounting/Finance

Forney has the team's second highest GPA (3.79) and was named GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-District in 1998 and Academic All-Big Ten in 1997 and 1998. He was named to Sports Illustrated's All-Bowl team in 1999 and was selected preseason first-team All-Big Ten by Football News. He is a member of Penn State's Student-Athlete Speakers' Bureau, addressing local school children on the value of education and on alcohol and drug counseling. He has been invited to join Spiritus Leoninus, Penn State's Student-Athlete Honor Society. Forney intends to pursue a graduate degree in educational administration.

Houser has been named to the Academic All-Big Ten Conference team three times and has been an Ohio State Scholar-Athlete three times. He has played in more than 40 games in four years and has been named OSU's Lineman of the Week many times. Houser is a member of OSU's Student-Athlete Advisory Board and has spoken at schools and assemblies as part of OSU's DARE (drug prevention) program.

Popovich was named GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-District in 1997 and 1998. He was also named to the Big East Football All-Academic Team in 1997 and 1998 and was the Burger King Scholar-Athlete of the Week in September and was a Big East Special Teams Player of the Week in November 1998. Popovich is a member of the National Golden Key Society, is an honor student and was inducted in the university's Mortar Board Society in 1999. He plans to attend medical school or earn a master's degree in engineering.

Vasquez has been on the Dean's List at Arizona. The linebacker has been on the team for three years, earning two letters. After working for a year, Vasquez intends to pursue a law degree.

These student-athletes will be honored during NACDA's 35th anniversary Convention, June 11-14, at the annual NACDA Scholarship Awards Luncheon, which will be held Tuesday, June 13. (The Foundation teams with Sears in the presentation of 20 $5,000 scholarships for athletics support personnel).

The NACDA Foundation, founded in 1982, sponsors internship opportunities for aspiring athletics administrators at NACDA's national office. It also provides educational opportunities for NACDA members through a variety of workshops, clinics and seminars. Since 1982, the Foundation has awarded more than $8.7 million in scholarships.

Funding for the Foundation comes from the Kickoff Classic and Pigskin Classic, whose proceeds also help fund the National Football Foundation and the American Football Coaches Association. These two games annually generate $420,000 in scholarships.