By Aubrey McDonnell
JACOB KONST/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Senior gymnast Katie Johnson was nominated for the John "Button" Salmon award. The award honors student-athletes for their hard work.
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, March 29, 2005
"Tell them ... tell the team to bear down."
This was the final message of John "Button" Salmon to his teammates before he died in 1926.
The Associated Students of the University of Arizona created the John "Button" Salmon Award this year to honor student-athletes for their hard work in remembrance of Salmon. Arizona coaches had the chance to nominate one NCAA student-athlete from their sport yesterday for the award.
"ASUA gives out many awards, but there is not really an award for all the hard work and dedication that NCAA athletes contribute to the campus community," said Matthew Carr, ASUA senator and creator of the award.
The award is for the outstanding achievement of an NCAA student-athlete who works hard on and off the court, field or pool.
"Salmon was the starting quarterback, the catcher for the baseball team and also the ASUA president," said Carr, a business sophomore. "What better name for the award than for someone who bridged the gap between campus involvement and athletics."
I think it's great that ASUA wants to recognize athletes on campus for their achievements
- Phoebe Chalk, assistant athletic director
Many UA student-athletes have been nominated including gymnast Katie Johnson, swimmer Emily Mason and women's basketball player Anna Chappell, Carr said.
ASUA coordinated the details of the award with the assistant athletic director Phoebe Chalk, who admits having limited involvement in the project.
"ASUA came to me with the idea for the award, and we sent out the information to the coaches and stuff," Chalk said. "I think it's great that ASUA wants to recognize athletes on campus for their achievements."
Carr hopes future student government senators will pick up where he left off and continue dedicating the award in the future.
"A lot of people feel that athletes have it easy and they get special treatment," Carr said. "But for the vast majority of athletes that is not true. It was my idea to create this award so that ASUA can recognize the hard work of athletes."
A panel of six predetermined ASUA members will choose the winner of the award based on the opinions of the athletic department and further review from ASUA members.
The winner of the John "Button" Salmon Award will be presented with a personal plaque April 25 at the Evening of Excellence Ceremony.
His or her name will also be added to the list of two ongoing plaques that will be placed in the Eddie Lynch Athletics Pavilion and ASUA office.