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Hartford’s Rich Lieberman Named America East Sportsmanship Award Winner

Courtesy: Hartford Athletics

Burlington, VT - University of Hartford tennis player Rich Lieberman (East Haddam, CT) was one of two America East Sportsmanship Award winners the league announced on Tuesday evening as part of its annual meeting. Joining Lieberman as the second recipient was the University of Maine softball team.

“Rich Lieberman is a model student-athlete and one we hope all Hartford Hawks student-athletes strive to be like,” said Director of Athletics Patricia H. Meiser. “This award only further demonstrates the good sportsmanship that Rich displayed during the Connecticut Division I Championships, as well as throughout his whole career with the Hawks.”

To be nominated, an individual or team must have demonstrated consistently the values of caring, fairness, civility, honesty, integrity and responsibility in his or her daily participation in intercollegiate athletics. The student-athlete or team nominees must be a member of an intercollegiate athletics team during the 2008-09 academic year. Both Lieberman and the Maine softball program are now automatically eligible for the NCAA Male and Female Sportsmanship Awards to be determined by the NCAA Committee on Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct in July.

"I could not be happier for Rich,” said head coach Michael Raymond. “He completed his college tennis career in fine fashion here at Hartford and this award really caps things off for him. His sportsmanship was second to none and he is truly deserving of this honor."

Lieberman, a graduate student at Hartford, received the Sportsmanship Award at the Connecticut Division I State Championships in October for his on-court demeanor and poise displayed throughout the tournament. The Hawks’ wins leader this season, Lieberman picked up the lone singles victory for his team during the weekend, a straight-set decision over Fairfield’s Mike Lessing. But it was through the respect he bestowed on his opponents and the honor he showed the game that earned Lieberman recognition.
A transfer from Assumption College where he was a Division II All-American and graduated magna cum laude, Lieberman also was presented one of three Sportsmanship Awards at Hartford’s end of year banquet. The award recognizes any individual team, player or coach, while participating in intercollegiate athletics during the past year, where any of the values of caring, civility, fairness, honesty, integrity and responsibility were demonstrated.

America East began awarding a conference Sportsmanship Award to a male and female student-athlete for the 2005-06 academic year based on the same principles and criteria as the NCAA Sportsmanship Awards. Last year’s female recipient, Hartford’s Latasha Jarrett, was also named the NCAA’s Division I Sportswoman of the Year.