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The Senior CLASS Award is awarded to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in 10 NCAA Division I sports. An acronym for "Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School," the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages them to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. The awards were sponsored by Lowe's until 2012 and were popularly known as the "Lowe's Senior CLASS Awards" during this time.
The award was born in 2001 when sportscaster Dick Enberg suggested a national award for senior basketball players during the CBS telecast of the NCAA Final Four championship game. In that game, Shane Battier led Duke to the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball title. Battier's decision to turn down the NBA and return for his senior season was one of the media stories of the year in college basketball. Soon after, Premier Sports Management, in partnership with Lowe's, announced the formation of the Senior CLASS Award. Enberg agreed to serve as honorary chair of the award and CBS Sports provided broadcast support, announcing the winner each year during the Final Four telecast. The scope of the award program was expanded the following year with the addition of a women's basketball award, and still further in 2007 with the addition of six NCAA Division I sports: men's and women's soccer, men's lacrosse, men's ice hockey, softball, and baseball. The Football Bowl Subdivision was added in 2008 and women's volleyball in 2010. The current spokesperson is CBS Sports's Emmy-award-winning sports broadcaster Jim Nantz.
Selection of candidates from the many nominations is based on four criteria that exemplify a "complete" student-athlete: community, classroom, character, and competition.
- For the current academic year's winner, First Team members, Second Team members, and previous years' recipients (in each sport), see the footnote.
- Go to Senior CLASS Award, click on "About", and then click on "Selection Process." Premier Sports Management. Retrieved on 2016-12-23.
- Go to Senior CLASS Award, click on "Sports," and then click on one of the ten sports listed in the scroll-down menu. On each sport's page, you can click on "Candidates" (for the current year's winner, plus the First Team and Second Team members) or "Alumni" (for the winners from previous years). Premier Sports Management. Retrieved on 2016-12-23.