NAPLES, Fla. – Bethune-Cookman and Florida A&M shared the Mary McLeod Bethune Women’s All-Sports Award, while Bethune-Cookman took its third straight Talmadge Layman Hill Men’s Award, the conference announced on Wednesday.
The All-Sports Award are indicators of the overall strengths of the conference’s men’s and women’s athletic programs. Each institution was presented with a $20,000 check during a reception at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Naples, Florida on Wednesday evening.
“I would like to congratulate Bethune-Cookman University including President Dr. Edison Jackson, Director of Athletics Lynn Thompson, and the administrators, coaches, student-athletes and support staff for winning the 2016 Talmadge Layman Hill Award and sharing the Mary McLeod Bethune Women’s All-Sports Award,” said MEAC Commissioner Dr. Dennis E. Thomas. “I also extend congratulations to Florida A&M University and President Dr. Elmira Mangum, Director of Athletics Milton Overton and all of the outstanding individuals including staff, coaches and student-athletes who were involved in the women’s programs sharing the Mary McLeod Bethune Award.”
The University of Maryland Eastern Shore was recognized during the reception as the 2015 recipient of the MEAC Highest Graduation Success Rate (GSR) for the seventh straight year. In addition to the recognition, UMES was presented a check for $25,000 from the conference. UMES’ 88-percent GSR is the highest among MEAC institutions spanning the 2005-08 cohorts.
Bethune-Cookman and Florida A&M totaled 92.8 points to share top honors in the All-Sports tally. The Lady Rattlers won conference titles in Cross Country, Outdoor Track and Field and softball, while the Wildcats had top finishes in Volleyball, Basketball and Tennis.
North Carolina A&T State took third place with 86 points to edge out Hampton University with 85.5 who finished fourth and Maryland Eastern Shore took fifth with 77.5 points.
On the men’s side Bethune-Cookman continues to strengthen its programs, totaling 94.6 points for its third straight overall All-Sports trophy. The Wildcats earned a share of the football title and finished first in Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field along with a second place finish in Golf.
North Carolina A&T State took second on the men’s side with 74.3 points to edge out Norfolk State who was third with 74 points. Hampton finished fourth (70) and North Carolina Central (62.3) rounded out the top five finishers.
Points are awarded in a descending order beginning with 14 points for champions or first place regular season finishes. The second place team receives 12 points. Tied teams split the point total.