April 3, 2013

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - The Atlantic 10 Conference has named George Washington the winner of the 2013 Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) "Evolution of the Student-Athlete" Video Competition, the league announced Wednesday. George Washington's video submission garnered almost 3,000 votes in the week long online poll.

GW's submission highlighted the journey of their diverse community of student athletes, explained in their video, "At GW, we start out as individual athletes, and evolve into one community, where in school, athletics and life, we strive to Raise High the Buff & Blue," a campus-wide slogan for the Colonials.

The annual competition's winner is determined by two equally weighted components: the online fan vote and voting conducted by each institution's campus SAAC organization. Each SAAC has the opportunity to rank their top three videos, which are then assigned a weighted point value (1st - 3 points, 2nd - 2 points, 3rd - 1 point).

The Colonials edged out VCU in the fan vote by just 136 votes, and also earned the second-most campus SAAC points, including three 1st place and five 2nd place votes.

"What makes me proud is that the student-athletes understand that their time on campus is about much more than achieving success in their respective sports," stated Atlantic 10 Commissioner Bernadette V. McGlade. "Their continuous evolution spans across the classroom, their campus and their community. While GW won this year's competition, it is clear that all of the student-athletes are proud of their journey."

The Rams, in their first year of competition, received 2,797 fan votes and tied for fourth in campus SAAC votes, earning them second-place overall with a video that urged fellow students to "embrace the evolution." VCU's submission paralleled the training of a successful athlete with what it takes to be successful in the classroom and beyond.

Massachusetts and Richmond tied for the third most combined points, with the Minutemen totaling 1,610 online votes and fourth in campus SAAC votes (tied with VCU). For the second consecutive year, Richmond won the campus SAAC portion of the vote, having received votes from 11 out of 15 SAACs that submitted a vote, including three 1st place votes. The Spiders ranked 6th in the online vote.

The theme of this year's contest, "Evolution of the Student-Athlete" was chosen by the Atlantic 10 Conference SAAC and provided a broad spectrum for each campus to express what their journey and evolution as a student-athlete has meant to them.

Aside from the theme, student-athletes were restricted only by suggested time parameters and the requirement that all videos must be student-produced (no staff-created submissions would be accepted). This year, 13 of 16 Atlantic 10 SAACs submitted a video, the most entries in the three year history of the competition.

"Anti-bullying" was the theme of the 2012 competition, a theme chosen by a unanimous vote of the A-10 SAAC that provided the perfect canvas for A-10 student-athletes to create compelling messages of hope, compassion and strength. Temple's winning submission, which showcased more than 30 student-athletes, members of the student body, campus administrators and Athletic Director Bill Bradshaw, urged viewers to "give a hoot" and take a stand against bullying.

The inaugural video competition during the 2010-11 academic year involved campus SAACs creating a video that promoted an NCAA or institutional core value (e.g., sportsmanship, sense of community, commitment to service, academic and athletic excellence), or an ideal that student-athletes are especially proud of or passionate about. Dayton won the inaugural competition with a video titled "Flying Right" which conveyed the Dayton student-athlete motto of "learn, lead and serve."

Watch all of this year's video entries here, or log onto the A-10 SAAC Home.