NCAA hosts annual celebration to recognize athletic success

OSWEGO, N.Y. — Once a year, the NCAA dedicates a week to celebrate athletics at the Division III level.

At Oswego State, this week brings an opportunity to shine a spotlight on its athletes and their accomplishments.

NCAA Division III athletics cultivate a unique breed of athlete, one that places equal emphasis on academics as on sports.

“Division III as a whole has more focus on academics than athletics,” said Wendy McManus, Oswego State athletic director.

With little national programming on television, Division III athletes have been looking for recognition.

“Division III week embodies this spirit, celebrating the successes of student-athletes, the NCAA, and the history behind Division III,” McManus said. “Division III week is celebrating successes of our student athletes, the NCAA, and the history behind Division III. What we like to do is celebrate our athletes this week.”

To highlight their athletes and the Division III experience, Oswego’s Athletics Department initiated a social media campaign.

This campaign showcases athletes’ stories and their reasons for choosing Oswego.

Cory Moehringer, the university’s athletic director for athletic communication, said that such initiatives play a crucial role in attracting high school athletes to Oswego.

“A lot of answers we’ve gotten back as far as why DIII, why Oswego, what are you enjoying, a lot of them have included they had talked to someone on the team before, they had talk to someone who had been recruited by us, or how they liked their experience here, and it was all positive,” McManus said.

The athletes themselves are eager to share their narratives.

“I think that those who are participating, yes they want to share their stories and why they chose Oswego and why they chose to compete at Division III,” McManus said.

In addition to celebrating Division III week, Oswego athletics commemorated the 50th anniversary of the division’s athletics.

To mark this milestone, the department has challenged its athletes to complete 50 hours of community service throughout the week.