Sept. 29, 2008
BERKELEY - California senior center Alex Mack is one of an elite group of thirty NCAA Division I student-athletes that has been chosen as candidates for the inaugural Lowe's Senior CLASS Award in football. To be eligible for the football award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior (in the Football Bowl Subdivision only) and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: Classroom, Character, Community, and Competition.
Mack (6-4, 316 pounds), who passed up an opportunity to be selected high in the 2008 NFL Draft in order to return to Cal for his final season, has started 30 games in his career. He was a finalist for the Rimington Trophy (top center in the nation) last season as well as a First Team All-American by The Sporting News. He also earned the Morris Trophy as the top offensive lineman in the Pac-10 - as voted on by the league's defensive linemen. The Bears have given up just 30 sacks in Mack's 30 games in the lineup (third-best in the nation in that period). This year, Cal is averaging 205.2 rushing yards per game with opponents tallying just six sacks.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages those leaders to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact on their circle of influence. This prestigious awards program was launched during the 2001-02 basketball season, added six additional sports in 2007, and has now expanded this year to include NCAA football.
These 30 student-athletes will be narrowed down to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will then be placed on the official ballot. The ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select the candidate that best exemplifies excellence in the "Four C's" of Classroom, Character, Community, and Competition.
The overall winner of the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award for football will be announced during a 2008-09 post-season college football event.
"Through this award, Lowe's strives to shine the spotlight on student-athletes who are committed to their team and their community," said Tom Lamb, Lowe's vice president of marketing. "Each candidate on this first-ever football list has that commitment. To hear their stories is very encouraging and Lowe's is honored to reward them for all-around achievement."
Sportscaster Dick Enberg, Honorary Chairman of the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, first conceived the idea of an award for seniors in 2001 in response to the growing trend of men's basketball players leaving school early for the NBA. The award was launched to honor senior student-athletes who remained in college, exhausting their collegiate athletic eligibility, to pursue their college degree.
Lowe's, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA and NCAA Football, expanded the award program in 2007 to include numerous NCAA Division I sports - men's and women's soccer, men's ice hockey, men's lacrosse, baseball, and softball in addition to men and women's basketball. With the addition of football this year, the number of sports encompassed by the nation's premier award for seniors reaches nine.
The Lowe's Senior CLASS Award is sanctioned by the NCAA, promoted by CBS Sports, and managed by Premier Sports Management.
Cal resumes Pac-10 play this weekend vs. Arizona State at 12:30 p.m. in Memorial Stadium. Tickets remain available for the Arizona State game as well as the remainder of the Golden Bear schedule, including the 111th Big Game. For more information, click here or call (800) GO BEARS.