by Benny Benton
HIGH POINT, N.C. – For the third year in a row, Conference Carolinas has honored Barton College with its Allan Sharp Award for Academic Excellence.
It is the first time in the known history of the award that one school has received it three consecutive times. However, it cannot be confirmed as unprecedented since some league records are missing from around the turn of the 21st century.
League representatives presented the award to Todd Wilkinson, Barton’s director of athletics, on Tuesday during a league meeting at Southern Wesleyan University in Central, S.C.
The honor is given to the conference institution with the highest Academic Success Rate among student-athletes as measured by the NCAA. Although the award was given for 2016, it was based on the number of scholarship student-athletes who graduated within a six-year time period ending with the 2014-15 academic year.
Barton saw 76 percent of its scholarship student-athletes graduate within the six-year window. For the third consecutive year, the women’s tennis program posted a perfect 100 percent graduation rate. Men’s volleyball also achieved a 100 percent mark, followed by baseball and softball with 90 percent.
“This award is a well-deserved tribute to the Barton faculty and staff who work so hard to inspire the futures of all the students who chose Barton College,” Wilkinson said. “The Barton coaching staff works hard to recruit the well-rounded student-athlete who desires a life after collegiate athletics. The three-peat of the Sharp Award certainly validates the work that the coaches do in recruiting and the faculty produce through educating.”
The award is made even more meaningful by the fact that is it named for the late Dr. Sharp, who served for more than 20 years as Barton’s faculty athletic representative. As the league noted in its press release, “Dr. Sharp championed the role of athletics as an educational activity and the importance of each athlete performing at the same level of excellence in the classroom as on the court or field.”
Allan Sharp Award Winners:
2016 – Barton College
2015 – Barton College
2014 – Barton College
2013 – Lees-McRae College
2012 – Converse College
2011 – Converse College
2010 – Queens University of Charlotte
2009 – Converse College
2008 – Converse College
2007 – Queens University of Charlotte
2006 – Queens University of Charlotte
2005 – Erskine College
2004 – Queens University of Charlotte
2003 – Erskine College
2002 – N/A*
2001 – Queens University of Charlotte
2000 – N/A*
1999 – N/A*
1998 – Erskine College
1997 – N/A*
1996 – Mount Olive College
*Archived records are missing for some years that cannot be confirmed