News from MSU Media Relations--April 1

The latest sports news from the MSU Media Relations Department...MSU Athletics and Men's Basketball.

MSU Athletics
BIRMINGHAM, Ala., March 31 - Track and field athlete Annie Falor and football player Dezmond Sherrod have been nominated by Mississippi State University for the H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship.

The H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship has been presented by the Southeastern Conference since 1986 to the league's top male and female scholar-athletes.

The Southeastern Conference will name the 2008 recipients of the H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship on April 6 in conjunction with National Student-Athlete Day.

Falor, a senior from Flagstaff, Ariz., has earned a 3.96 grade point average, majoring in English. She is a two-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll (2007-08 honor roll released later in spring). She is a four-time member of the Bulldog Honor Roll and has made MSU President's Scholar four times.

Also a Dean's Scholar, she received the Newsom Award for Academic Achievement twice and the Nolan Book Scholarship in 2006.

Athletically, Falor is a four-year letterwinner in track and field and cross country and is a team captain for both sports this year. She won the MSU track & field Bulldog Spirit Award last year and was selected to the 2006 NCAA Division I All-South Region Cross Country Team.

Falor is active in the MSU Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and has volunteered in several service organizations through the M-Club. She has also been a Honors College member since 2004.

Sherrod, a senior from Columbus, Miss., earned his undergraduate degree cum laude in December, 2006 in general business. He has earned a 3.70 grade point average in the Master of Business Administration program at Miss. State. He is a four-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll, has made MSU President's Scholar four times and Dean's List three times.

He has also received the Newsom Award, given to an MSU student-athlete in each sport who excels in academics and athletics, and the Holbrook Award, awarded to the top male scholar-athlete at State, this past year.

On the gridiron, Sherrod was a three-year starter, playing in all 47 games of his Bulldog career. He was a member of the SEC Good Works Team and was the 2007 AutoZone Liberty Bowl Student-Athlete Award winner. During his collegiate career, he caught eight passes for 50 yards. He has served as a team captain and won his team's Offensive Player of the Week award vs. Alabama in 2006.

Sherrod has been a member of the football squad's Leadership Council for four years and was MSU's representative to the NCAA Leadership Conference in 2005. He is a two-year member of the SEC's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and a member of MSU's SAAC since 2005. He has participated in food drives, read to children at elementary schools and volunteered at youth carnivals.

The SEC Office will be releasing each of its institution's nominees periodically until the April 6 winners are announced. The schedule is as follows:

Alabama - Joseph Sykora, Golf (Male) / Jordan Praytor, Softball (Female)
Arkansas - Tyler Hill, Track & Field (Male) / Stacy Lewis, Golf (Female)
Auburn - Cole Bennett, Football (Male) / Kristen Hastrup, Swimming & Diving (Female)
Florida - Kevin Nead, Swimming & Diving (Male) / Bianca Gibbs, Soccer (Female)
Georgia - Ian Burrell, Track & Field (Male) / Karen Guilkey, Swimming & Diving (Female)
Kentucky - Greg Dombrowski, Baseball (Male) / Ashley Dimkich, Softball (Female)
LSU - Kevin Dessauer, Tennis (Male) / Paige Brown, Swimming & Diving (Female)
Ole Miss - Erling Tveit, Tennis (Male) / Casey Phillips, Rifle (Female)
Miss. State - Dezmond Sherrod, Football (Male) / Annie Falor, Track & Field (Female)
South Carolina - April 1
Tennessee - April 2
Vanderbilt - April 3

National Student-Athlete Day was created in 1987 by the National Consortium for Academics and Sports (NCAS) and Northeastern University's Center for the Study of Sport in Society, and presented by the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) and the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).

National Student-Athlete Day is held each April 6 to celebrate outstanding student-athletes who have achieved excellence in academics and athletics while having made significant contributions to the community. It is also a time to recognize those parents, teachers, coaches and school systems which make it possible for young people to find the balance between academics and athletics.

Each year, the SEC, in conjunction with AT&T, an SEC Corporate Champion sponsor, provides the league's male and female McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship recipients with a $10,000 post-graduate scholarship. The 22 remaining male and female finalists for the award will also receive a $5,000 post-graduate scholarship. The award recipients are chosen by a committee of Faculty Athletics Representatives from the 12 SEC institutions and are honored at the SEC Spring Meetings in Sandestin, Fla. on May 29.

Last year's recipients were Alabama baseball player Emeel Salem and Vanderbilt track and field athlete Erika Schneble.

Men's Basketball
STARKVILLE, Miss. - Mississippi State head men's basketball coach Rick Stansbury has been named as one of five national finalists for the 2007-08 Clair Bee Coach of the Year Award, as announced Monday in Lubbock, Texas by Chip Hilton Sports and the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

With the award set to be presented this week at the NCAA Final Four in San Antonio, Texas, this year's other coaching finalists for the Clair Bee Award are Mark Few of Gonzaga, Stanford's Trent Johnson, Oregon's Ernie Kent, and Bob McKillop from Davidson College.

Instituted in 1997 as a way to honor outstanding excellence and character in college basketball, the Clair Bee Coach of the Year Award honors an NCAA Division I men's basketball coach who through his actions on and off the court makes an outstanding contribution to the sport of college basketball. The criteria for this award involves actions that inspire, motivate, coach and educate their teams to achieve their fullest potential and demonstrate outstanding character. The selection committee is comprised of Dan Beebe, Jay Bilas, Dave Gavitt, Bob Hammel, Bob Knight, Pete Newell, Billy Packer, Dean Smith, and Dick Vitale.

Having just completed his 10th season at the Mississippi State basketball helm, Stansbury guided this year's 23-11 Bulldogs to their fourth SEC Western Division championship in the last six seasons, as well as directing MSU to the team's eighth postseason tournament appearance (5 NCAA & 3 NIT) over the past decade. Stansbury has now more than doubled the school's all-time postseason tournament appearances from seven to 15 with this year's fifth NCAA Tournament berth in the last seven seasons.

A native of Battletown, Ky., Stansbury became Mississippi State's all-time winningest basketball coach this past season and now owns a 10-year head coaching mark of 208-115 (.644) with the Bulldogs. Stansbury also ranks 19th among the SEC's all-time winningest men's basketball coaches and currently trails only Florida's Billy Donovan among the league's current head coaches in both career victories and career winning percentage for those coaches with a minimum of 100 wins at an SEC school. The 1982 Campbellsville graduate is presently tied with Alabama's Mark Gottfried as the second-most tenured current head men's basketball coach in the SEC behind Donovan.

Previous Clair Bee Award winners have included notable coaches Tom Izzo, Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Boeheim, Clem Haskins, Jim O'Brien, Lute Olson, Bob Knight, Jim Phelan, Tom Crean, Jim Larranaga, and Bo Ryan.

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