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History of the Award

Sportscaster Dick Enberg suggested a national award for seniors during the NCAA Men’s Final Four on CBS in 2001 when Shane Battier, a potential NBA lottery pick who chose to return for his senior season, helped lead Duke University to the national championship and earned his college degree. (Read more about Dick Enberg...)

With Enberg’s call for an award, Premier Sports Management created the Senior CLASS Award™ in late 2001 in response to the growing trend of college basketball players leaving college early to enter the professional ranks. With Enberg as the program’s honorary chair and CBS as a broadcast partner, Premier began presenting the award annually in men’s and women’s basketball and has since expanded to include 10 NCAA Division I sports.

With “CLASS” being an acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School™, the original goal of the Senior CLASS Award was to honor seniors for completing their collegiate athletic eligibility. It became an immediate success. 

In 2018, Lowe’s brought the Senior CLASS Award to the CIAA to recognize men’s and women’s basketball players specifically from the conference. In 2021, Lowe’s modified the Senior CLASS Award to recognize senior men’s and women’s athletes from any sport within the CIAA conference.


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