Georgia Recognized for Excellence in Promoting the Scholar-Athlete Ideal

March 24, 2014

Georgia Faculty Athletics Representative David Shipley to be presented with a plaque from the National Football Foundation and $5,000 from Fidelity Investments.

IRVING, Texas -- As part of the National Football Foundation Faculty Salutes Initiative, sponsored by Fidelity Investments®, the NFF will present Georgia Faculty Athletics Representative David Shipley with a commemorative plaque and the school with $5,000. Georgia and Shipley are being recognized for their efforts in fostering excellence among the student-athletes as exemplified by 2013 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Aaron Murray. The presentation will take place during a reception as part of Georgia's "Faculty Appreciation Day" tomorrow, which is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. ET at the Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall in Athens, Ga.

"David Shipley has been a critical liaison between academics and athletics at Georgia," said NFF President & CEO Steve Hatchell. "We are proud to join with Fidelity Investments in highlighting his role in ensuring that the student-athletes at Georgia have an educational experience that prepares them for success long after their playing days in Athens."

In 2011, the NFF announced, in partnership with Fidelity Investments, a leading provider of not-for-profit workplace retirement savings plans in higher education, that it was expanding its NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards Program to recognize the contributions of the faculty athletics representatives at each of the 16 schools with a member of the annual NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class. As part of the initiative, the NFF is presenting each of the faculty representatives with a commemorative plaque and $5,000 from Fidelity Investments to support the academic support services for student-athletes at each school.

"The Faculty Athletics Representative position, fulfilled at UGA by David Shipley, is crucial to our athletic department, as David ensures academic integrity and looks out for the welfare of our student-athletes by monitoring the delicate balance of academics and athletics," said Greg McGarity, the J. Reid Parker Director of Athletics at Georgia. "We appreciate the National Football Foundation and Fidelity Investments honoring scholar-athletes and recognizing the Faculty Athletics Representative position on a national platform."

Shipley joined the Georgia Law faculty as a professor of law in 1998, and he has taught courses on civil procedure, copyright, administrative law and remedies. In 2010, he was named the UGA Faculty Athletics Representative to the NCAA and the Southeastern Conference (SEC). His responsibilities include working with the Athletic Association to support the academic progress and success of UGA's student-athletes; serving as secretary to the Athletic Association's board of directors; and helping monitor compliance with NCAA rules and regulations. In addition, he is chair-elect of the University Council's executive committee. In 2012, he was awarded the Georgia Athletic Association Professorship in Law.

Georgia was represented in the 2013 NFF National Scholar-Athlete Class by Aaron Murray, who maintained a 3.30 GPA as a Psychology Major while becoming the all-time leading passer in the hallowed history of SEC football. Murray is the first quarterback in SEC history to post 3,000-yard passing seasons in four consecutive years. He passed 2009 NFF William V. Campbell Trophy recipient Tim Tebow (Florida) as the conference's all-time leader in total offense and passed 1996 Campbell Trophy recipient and College Football Hall of Famer Danny Wuerffel (Florida) as the SEC's all-time leader in touchdown passes. The 2013 SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year, the Tampa, Fla., native was also named a CoSIDA Academic All-American this year while earning CoSIDA Academic All-District for the fourth consecutive season. A member of the 2012 AFCA Good Works Team, Murray is a member of the UGA Student-Athlete Leadership Academy and participated in the Georgia AAASP Wheelchair Football program.

The NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards, presented by Fidelity Investments, were established in 1959 as the first initiative in history to honor scholar-athletes with post-graduate scholarships for their combined athletic, academic and leadership abilities. The program currently provides each member of the class with an $18,000 scholarship, distributing a total of $300,000 each year to the nation's top scholar-athletes. In 2011, Fidelity Investments became the first official sponsor in the 56-year history of the program, which has awarded more than $10.4 million to 787 individuals since its inception.

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