Pinnix Selected for Leadership Conference

Gophers running back Amir Pinnix is among 325 NCAA athletes selected to participate in the 2006 NCAA Leadership Conference.

University of Minnesota Golden Gopher running back Amir Pinnix is one of 325 NCAA student-athletes selected to participate in the 2006 NCAA Leadership Conference that will be held May 28 through June 1 in Orlando, Fla., the NCAA recently announced. Part of the NCAA's CHAMPS/Life Skills Program, the mission of the leadership conference is to provide a group of the nation's top NCAA Division I, II and III student-athletes an opportunity to actively participate in challenging and thought-provoking activities that will enable them to become better leaders on their campuses and in their communities.

As a result of participation, student-athletes will enhance their communication skills, decision-making and problem-solving skills, critical-thinking skills and collaborative skills. The conference also promotes better communication among student-athletes, coaches, administrators, faculty and communities. Topics for past conference have included developing leadership skills, changing perception, developing political skills and utilizing the student-athlete committee.

Pinnix, a junior from Newark, N.J., has played in 22 career games for the Gophers, rushing for 604 yards and three touchdowns. Last season, Pinnix rushed for 467 yards on 78 carries for an average of six yards per carry. He earned Big Ten Player of the Week honors following a 206-yard rushing performance against Michigan State on Nov. 2. Pinnix became the third different Gopher running back during the 2005 season to earn Player of the Week honors, making Minnesota the first school in Big Ten history to have three different running backs earn the award in the same season.

It is the third consecutive year a Gopher student-athlete has been selected to participate in the leadership conference. Senior track & field student-athlete Ben Hanson attended the 2004 conference, while last year former women's basketball player Shannon Bolden represented Minnesota. Peyton Owens III, Director of Life Skills for the McNamara Academic Center will serve as a facilitator at the conference for the second consecutive year.

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