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AUM - Fri. Oct. 04, 2013

KANSAS CITY, Mo. ---- For the fourth consecutive year, the Auburn University at Montgomery athletic department has received the Champions of Character Five Star Award, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced recently.

The Warhawks earned 71 points on its 2012-13 Champions of Character Scorecard, a total which ranked in the top half of the 217 schools awarded the distinction. To qualify for the award, institutions must score 60 points or better for the academic year.

The Champions of Character Scorecard measures each institution's commitment to the NAIA Champions of Character program. Points are earned in five key areas: character training, conduct in competition, character recognition, academic focus and character promotion.

"I am extremely proud of our coaching staff and our student-athletes in the recognition of this award," AUM Athletic Director Steve Crotz said. "The coaches at AUM embrace the teaching of life skills and five core values of the NAIA Champions of Character. This honor rewards the success of our student-athletes in their academic performance, on the field sportsmanship and community outreach involvement. I am proud of the commitment to the development of the total person by our dedicated staff."

Composed of nearly 300 schools across the nation, the NAIA awarded 217 Five Star Awards, including, all 16 members from the Southern States Athletic Conference. The SSAC was one of 23 conferences to earn the Champions of Character Five-Star Conference award for having 60 percent of its members earn Champions of Character Five Star Institution status.

More than 80 percent of NAIA member institutions were honored as Five-Star Institutions. Oklahoma Baptist tallied the most points, earning 99 of a potential 100 points. Central Methodist and Columbia (S.C) College were tied for second with 98 points, while California State University-Maritime and Edward Waters rounded out the top five with 97 points.