May 7, 2008

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – For the second time in four years, the University of Notre Dame has been praised for being one of the nation’s leaders in student-athlete community service and outreach, recently receiving an award from the National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS). The honor recognizes the University’s Department of Athletics, as well as its Office of Student Welfare and Development, for providing an outstanding outreach and community service program during the 2006-07 academic year. The University was similarly lauded by the NCAS in 2003-04.

Since 1999, Notre Dame student-athletes have steadily increased their participation in community service. During the 2006-07 academic year, student-athletes completed over 4,000 hours in the community, almost double the previous year’s total. An amazing 92 percent of the teams participated in community service, reaching over 5,000 people in the local and national communities, and assisting over 50 non-profit organizations. The Fighting Irish women’s soccer and men’s lacrosse teams led the way among the University’s 26 teams, as both programs participated in over 500 hours of community service. Their 4,000 hours involved 5,000 youth and the athletic department involved another 30,000 youth with the Fighting Irish through ticket giveaways to the Boys and Girls Club, local schools, the DARE Program and community centers.

In 2000, Notre Dame was honored by the NCAA Division I-A Athletic Directors Association for having one of top four Student Development programs in the nation.

The NCAS was established in 1985 by Dr. Richard E. Lapchick, chair of UCF’s DeVos Sport Business Management Program, and since its inception, the NCAS and its member institutions have proven to be effective advocates for balancing academics and athletics. By joining the NCAS, a college or university agrees to bring back, tuition free, their own former student-athletes who competed in revenue and non-revenue producing sports and were unable to complete their degree requirements. In exchange these former student-athletes agree to participate in school outreach and community service programs addressing social issues of America’s youth.

— ND —