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Wednesday April 3, 2013Betsy Smith Honored as Nominee for SEC's H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Award

Gainesville, Fla.

Florida volleyball senior middle blocker Betsy Smith (Atlanta, Ga.) was among the distinguished group of Southeastern Conference student-athletes announced Wednesday as nominees for the H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Award.


A total of 28 SEC student-athletes – one male and one female from each of the SEC’s 14 institutions – were nominated for the award. The recipients of the H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Award will be revealed on April 5. Each year, the SEC, in conjunction with AT&T, an SEC Corporate Champion sponsor, provides the league’s male and female McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship recipients with a $15,000 post-graduate scholarship. The 26 remaining male and female finalists for the award will also receive a $7,500 post-graduate scholarship.


“Betsy Smith is the consummate student-athlete: the starting captain on an SEC Championship team, graduating with honors and multiple degrees,” Florida head coach Mary Wise said. “In 22 years at Florida, we’ve never had a player with Betsy’s leadership skills. She will be successful in whatever career she chooses and we know how fortunate we are she chose to play volleyball at Florida. If you were looking for the ideal role model for future student-athletes, you couldn’t choose better than Betsy.”


Smith, a Second Team All-SEC honoree, was ninth in the SEC with a .333 hitting percentage, tallying 209 kills in 2012. For her career, Smith finished with a .335 hitting percentage with 390 kills and averaged .79 blocks/set in 2012 and .80 blocks/set for her career. Smith is a four-time Academic All-SEC selection and also received a 2012 CoSIDA First Team Academic All-District® nod.


She was a member of three SEC Championship teams, four NCAA Sweet 16 teams and one NCAA Elite Eight team. Smith started at middle blocker in both 2011 and 2012. Smith earned the team’s Gator Power Strength and Conditioning Award and the Gator Spirit Award. She also received the squad’s Team Academic Award.


Smith earned a B.A. in business administration magna cum laude and a B.A. degree in political science cum laude with a minor in mass communication in December 2012. Smith was honored on the Warrington College of Business Dean’s List, graduating with a 3.87 grade point average. She was inducted into the Beta Gamma Sigma Business Honor Society and the Golden Key International Honor Society.


She was a University Scholars participant who was selected by the Heavener School of Business to receive a scholarship to conduct research on the economic effects of accountability. She is the former president of Florida’s SAAC (Student-Athlete Advisory Committee) and was Chairperson and Director of the 2010 Florida Letterman Awards. Smith was the sole student-athlete to serve on the University Athletic Association’s Board of Directors. She is active in the Gainesville community, volunteering with Baby Gator Day Care and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.


The Southeastern Conference announced the 2013 nominees and recipients of the H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Awards in advance of National Student-Athlete Day, which is scheduled for April 6.


The SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award was first presented in 1986.  The honor was renamed the H. Boyd McWhorter SEC Scholar-Athletes of the Year in May 1990 to honor the former commissioner who served the conference from 1972-86.


“The H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Award is the highest honor a student-athlete can receive in the Southeastern Conference,” SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said. “It highlights academic and athletic achievements at the highest level in the nation’s premier conference.”


National Student-Athlete Day, a program of the National Consortium of Academics and Sports, has been held each April 6 since 1987. It celebrates the outstanding achievements of high school and college student-athletes who have excelled in academics and athletics while having made significant contributions to their schools and communities.


The award recipients are chosen by a committee of Faculty Athletics Representatives from the 14 SEC institutions and are honored at the SEC Spring Meetings in Sandestin, Fla. on May 30.


Last year’s McWhorter Award recipients were South Carolina baseball player Michael Roth and Georgia swimmer Wendy Trott.

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