Dec. 9, 2011
GLENVIEW, Ill. – Alabama junior offensive lineman Barrett Jones has been named the 2011 recipient of the Awards and Recognition Association Sportsmanship Award (ARA).
"The Awards and Recognition Association Sportsmanship Award is the only national award that recognizes an athlete's character as it relates to sportsmanship," said LaVell Edwards, the award-winning retired Brigham Young University head football coach and chairman of the ARA Sportsmanship Award selection committee. "Barrett jumped out at us as one of the greats on and off the field. This kid is one for the books with his outstanding track record, desire to win, and willingness to give back and help those in need."
ARA has a membership of 2,600 businesses internationally working within the recognition industry. The association's objective in sponsoring the award is to recognize an outstanding example of sportsmanship with a desire to promote the practice of sportsmanship in all levels of competition.
"The award's sponsor, The Awards and Recognition Association, is honored to present this award to such a deserving young athlete," said Guy Barone, president of the association. "Each year we are impressed by the caliber of players and Barrett is no exception; he's a true example of what we believe sportsmanship should exemplify."
The ARA Sportsmanship Award is given to one outstanding NCAA Division I football player who best personifies the spirit of sportsmanship.
Jones, who has earned a number of athletic awards, including the Outland Trophy last night, started on the offensive line for the last three seasons. Appointed by his coaches and teammates to the Team Leadership Group, he took on the role as ambassador for the University of Alabama on and off campus.
Known as a strong team leader and positive influence during good and challenging times, Jones was a humble winner after the Crimson Tide won the National Championship in 2009 as well as when the team failed to reach a BCS bowl for the first time in two seasons in 2010.
Jones' example as a positive role model continues to soar off of the field. As part of the 2011 SEC Community Service team, he made two trips to Haiti to help with the earthquake aftermath, traveling with his family and University of Alabama classmates. In Haiti, he worked on a school and an orphanage, and helped feed people in need.
Closer to home, he was integral to the tornado cleanup in Tuscaloosa and helped gather and distribute supplies.
With a 4.0 grade point average, Jones' accolades continue in the classroom. He earned his accounting degree in three years and is currently enrolled in graduate school.
To qualify for the ARA Sportsmanship Award, an athlete must be a starting player or significant contributor on his team; be in good academic standing; demonstrate great respect for competitors, school, teammates and coaches; show an ability to accept victory and defeat graciously; convey a high degree of humility and integrity; and demonstrate commitment in the classroom and to the community.
Previous winners are Arizona Cardinals and former University of Texas defensive end, Sam Acho (2010); Miami Dolphins and former Kansas State University tight end, Jeron Mastrud (2009), Chicago Bears and former Northwestern University receiver Eric Peterman (2008); Winnipeg Blue Bombers and former Washington State quarterback Alex Brink (2007); Cincinnati Bengals and former Rutgers University fullback, Brian Leonard (2006) and, Carolina Panthers and former University of Memphis running back, DeAngelo Williams (2005).