JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (April 4, 2012) – ETSU senior Adam Sollazzo (Tampa, Fla.) has earned his share of honors during the past four seasons as a Buccaneer basketball player, but he was awarded with arguably his most prestigious recognition on Wednesday.
The Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association released its 22 members of the 10th Annual DI-AAA ADA Scholar-Athlete Teams on Wednesday, and not only was Sollazzo selected to this group, but he received the highest number of votes on the squad. He was subsequently named the nation’s men’s scholar-athlete of the year.
“I give all the credit to my parents, because they have continually pushed me to excel both on the court and in the classroom,” said Sollazzo, who has posted a 3.72 grade point average while studying business marketing at ETSU and will graduate with Magna Cum Laude honors later this spring. “They taught me that hard work pays off, so I would just like to say thank you to them.”
Basketball players from all Division I-AAA ADA member institutions are eligible for these prestigious awards. There are a total of 99 schools represented in this group, including programs from conferences such as the Big East, Conference USA, Colonial, Atlantic Sun, Southern, Ohio Valley, and others.
“Adam has been a great representative for our basketball program for the last four years,” said ETSU head coach Murry Bartow. “His is truly an outstanding scholar-athlete, and I am pleased he has been part of our ETSU program.”
Each of the nominees was required to have a minimum grade point average of 3.20 (on a 4.00 scale) in undergraduate study and have been a starter or important reserve with legitimate athletics credentials. He/she must have reached junior athletics and academic standing at the nominated institution (true freshmen, red-shirt freshmen and ineligible athletics transfers are not eligible) and have completed at least three academic semesters/five quarters at the nominated institution. Nominated student-athletes must have participated in at least 50 percent of the team's games listed on the nomination form.
Sollazzo met all these requirements by leading the ETSU men’s basketball team in scoring and assists during the 2011-12 season, posting strong academic accomplishments throughout his four years at ETSU, and consistently being involved in community service efforts and campus life.
“Adam is not only one of the best of the best at ETSU, but he’s one of the best of the best in the nation,” said ETSU President Dr. Brian Noland. “He is an example of the goals we strive to realize each and every day in the development of our students. He has consistently brought positive recognition to our institution, and we only expect that to continue as Adam progresses in his career and life.”
ETSU Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Dave Mullins, a member of the Review Committee of Division I-AAA athletic directors who are charged with selecting the honorees, said it has been a pleasure watching Sollazzo hone his skills both on and off the floor.
“Adam is an example of why we do what we do in ETSU athletics,” Mullins said. “We set out with each scholar-athlete in our program to develop their athletic skills, give them the tools to succeed academically, and give them the chance to serve their community and campus. Adam continuously took advantage of each of those three opportunities as a part of this program and it has served him well.”
About Division I-AAA ADA: Now in its 11th year, the Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association's mission is to enhance initiatives common to its Division I-AAA membership (the 99 Division I institutions that do not sponsor football), in particular, aspects related to their flagship basketball programs. For more information on the Division I-AAA ADA, please visit www.div1aaa-ada.com. The Division I-AAA ADA is administered by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), which is in its 47th year. For more information on NACDA and the 12 professional associations that fall under its umbrella, please visit www.nacda.com.