Senior CLASS Award
The Senior CLASS Award is awarded to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in 10 NCAA Division I sports. An acronym for "Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School," the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages them to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. The awards were sponsored by Lowe's until 2012 and were popularly known as the "Lowe's Senior CLASS Awards" during this time.
The award was born in 2001 when sportscaster Dick Enberg suggested a national award for senior basketball players during the CBS telecast of the NCAA Final Four championship game. In that game, Shane Battier led Duke to the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball title. Battier's decision to turn down the NBA and return for his senior season was one of the media stories of the year in college basketball. Soon after, Premier Sports Management, in partnership with Lowe's, announced the formation of the Senior CLASS Award. Enberg agreed to serve as honorary chair of the award and CBS Sports provided broadcast support, announcing the winner each year during the Final Four telecast. The scope of the award program was expanded in 2007 with the addition of six NCAA Division I sports: (men's and women's soccer, lacrosse, men's hockey, softball, and baseball). The Football Bowl Subdivision was added in 2008 and women's volleyball was added in 2010. The current spokesperson is CBS Sports's Emmy-award winning sports broadcaster Jim Nantz.