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Student-Athlete Handbook: Media Relations and Awards

Sports Information

Primary Function
The sports information office is responsible for the publicity and promotion of Gallaudet University’s 14 NCAA Division III intercollegiate sports. The primary functions of the sports information office are:

  • Media Relations: This function includes but is not limited to, producing and disseminating press releases; hosting newspaper and television outlets at campus sporting events; reporting event results to primary media outlets; and responding to media requests for information on Gallaudet’s varsity teams.
  • Website: Sports Information writes, designs, and edits the Gallaudet University Athletics website – and runs and monitors Gallaudet athletics’ social media pages on Facebook, Twitter and other outlets.
  • Maintenance of statistical file: Sports Information maintains cumulative statistical files on all sports. The department maintains in-game statistics at home events for those sports that have NCAA statistics and require statistics crews (football, volleyball, basketball, soccer, softball and baseball). In-game statistics for all other sports are maintained by designated athletic/team personnel and reported to sports information. Sports information also submits statistical reports to the North Eastern Athletic Conference and NCAA. Student-athletes should report statistical discrepancies to their respective head coach.
  • Event Planning/Game Operations: The department plays a vital role in the planning and implementation of the year-end Sports Awards Ceremony, the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, and other athletics related events as needed. The Sports Information works with the Game Operations staff to make sure there is an enjoyable and safe atmosphere at our home venues.

The Gallaudet University Sports Information Office is a part of the Gallaudet University Department of Athletics. Its office is located in the Field House, room 106. Sports information personnel can be reached via e-mail appointment, or by visiting the office.

Sam Atkinson, Associate Athletic Director for Communications, heads the Gallaudet University sports information staff. The office staff also employs several student assistants and will take on interns on an as-needed basis during the sports seasons. He can be reached via e-mail

Email List
The sports information department distributes the  Bison Newsletter after each story is written. We encourage all student-athletes to check their e-mails regularly. If you do not receive the e-mails, please sign up online and select the sports release you want to receive. Click All Sports to never miss a story. The signup link is here:

Social Media
The sports information operates Gallaudet athletics official social media pages. Coaches and athletic staff encourage student-athletes to be careful with their personal social media pages. It is encouraged that you protect your accounts and not post negative pictures, comments that would violate NCAA rules or give the athletic team and University negative press for such actions. Any public social media page can be viewed by anyone so think twice before you post something.

Student Athletes and the Media
Although not all student-athletes will be faced with media interviews and/or coverage during their playing careers, there are facts that everyone donning the Buff and Blue should know.

  1. When dealing with the media, all athletes should bear in mind that they are not only representing themselves, but the team and Gallaudet. Proper discretion should be used in all cases—including interviews with campus media such as the Buff and Blue or the Tower Clock. Please do not curse, talk badly about your team, teammates, coaches, or other GU team(s), staff, fans, opponents, conference.
  2. All requests for interviews with student-athletes should come through the sports information office.
  3. A sports information or coaching staff member will attempt to contact the student-athlete when a member of the media requests an interview. An interpreter will be provided if needed.
  4. If a member of the media contacts a student-athlete directly, the student-athlete should immediately inform the sports information office prior to any interview.
  5. Prompt response by the student-athlete to interview requests is important. Most reporters work on strict deadlines.
  6. Interviews are not to be conducted during student-athlete class time.
  7. The sports information office can help student-athletes prepare for media interviews. Those interested in this service should inform their respective head coaches.

Student-Athlete Awards Ceremony & Awards Criteria

In May, on study day, the Gallaudet University athletics department will hold an awards ceremony where all student-athletes are expected to attend. The dress code for the event is business casual. All details will be announced through the athletics department and shared by your head coach.

The following are the department awards that will be distributed.

Al Van Nevel Memorial Award
A senior athlete who holds a GPA of 3.5 or better, demonstrates positive leadership on and off the court/field and consistently exhibits good sportsmanship on and off the court/field.

Spielberger Award (managers and student assistants)

a. Makes valuable contributions to the programs
b. Shows a positive attitude towards players, staff, and coaches
c. Work hard and meet coach’s expectations

Bison Unsung Hero Award

a. Makes valuable contributions to the programs
b. Generally works in the background, making it possible for others to succeed
c. Works hard but whose work usually goes unrecognized


a. Commitment to excellence in training during off season
b. Makes valuable contributions to the programs
c. Works hard and exceeds coach’s expectations

Bison Comeback Award

a. Who missed most of last season and recovered from the injury
b. Overcome a significant obstacle to return to a high level of competition due to injury
c. Dedicated and consistent with rehabilitation program

Bison Student-Athlete of the Year

a. Demonstrates leadership
b. Outstanding top performer
c. Good sportsmanship
d. A role model on and off the field/court

Bison Scholar-Athlete Award

a. Top 10 Cumulative GPA
b. Seniors Only
c. At least 3 semesters

Bison Four-Year Athlete Award

a. An athlete who has participated all four years
b. Must start and finish all four years and not be dismissed or quit team
c. Cannot be on AP during athletic season
d. Student managers also qualify
e. Must remain in good standing as a student and student-athlete

Bison Rookie of the Year

a. First-year athlete
b. True freshman (no transfers)
c. Shows motivation
d. Meets or exceeds coach’s expectations

Michael Weinstock Fan of the Year
Gallaudet faculty, staff member(s), or friends of the program that show great Bison spirit, attend athletic events

Outstanding Faculty Member Award
Award to a faculty member who is supportive to the Athletics Department and its student-athletes

Record-Breaking Performance
Award honors the most remarkable, significant or impressive performance of the year

Team Community Service
Award honors the team that did the most community service during the school year

Team Awards
Each varsity team will have a Team Most Valuable Player, Team Coaches' Award, Team Most Improved Player as selected by the head coach and awarded at your team banquet. All honorees will be recognized at the end of the year banquet as well.

Senior Awards
On Senior Day, usually the last home event/game of the season, the head coach and team will pay tribute to their seniors. The head coach works with the SID Office, weeks and even months prior to Senior Day, to coordinate the Senior Day Plaques that are designed and awarded to that season's seniors. It is important for the head coach to verify senior status prior to your season starting. A student-athlete can only receive one senior plaque per sport.

All-Conference, All-Region, All-America procedures
Head coaches supply a list of names to the Sports Information Director prior to all-conference nominations and voting. Those names put forwarded are then voted on by that respective sports' coaches from that conference. All-Region and All-America awards are organized by coaches' groups. Your head coach must be a member of your coaches group to be nominated for these awards. The head coach and SID will determine who should be nominated for these awards.

CoSIDA Academic All-America Awards
To be eligible for CoSIDA Academic honors, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution and be nominated by his/her sports information director. If a student-athlete earns All-District First Team honors they are then eligible to be nominated for Academic All-America honors, that gets voted on by a national committee.

Chi Alpha Sigma National College Athlete Honor Society
To be eligible a student-athlete must have a 3.40 grade point average or higher, must be of good moral character, be a varsity sport letterwinner and be a junior or senior academic and athletic standing.

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