INDIANAPOLIS ? Ohio sophomore Spencer Tatum, an inside linebacker for the Bobcat football team, has been selected to participate in the 2003 NCAA Leadership Conference, the organization announced recently. The event will be held May 25-29 at Disney?s Wide World of Sports Complex and the Coronado Springs Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. Tatum was one of 273 student-athletes from Divisions I, II and III selected from more than 1,000 nominees at 302 different institutions.
Tatum has been a beneficial addition to the Ohio Bobcats football team since he transferred from Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy in January 2002. He played in all 12 games last year, earning a starting spot for the final 10 contests. Tatum was sixth on the team in tackles with 41 (12 solo), two of them for losses. He recorded at least one stop in every game after the opener and enjoyed his best game of the season ? eight tackles ? at rival Miami.
?This is a tremendous honor for myself and for Ohio University,? said Tatum. ?I will have the opportunity to spend time with professional athletes and Olympians in addition to my peers at other institutions. I am taking this time to improve my leadership skills and, therefore, help the football team get better. I am representing all of the athletes here at Ohio and will bring the things that I learn back to campus and our Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
This is the seventh year for the conference, which includes athletes from an array of different sports at the collegiate level. The conference gives these student-athletes the chance to get together in a non-competitive atmosphere to discuss ideas and issues that will enhance their leadership skills and give them concepts to take back to their respective institutions. Student-athletes participate in exercises dealing with problem solving, planning, leadership and decision-making. The conference also gives the athletes a chance to talk with others and discuss problems that a student-athlete may come in contact with during his collegiate career.
Tatum was one of four student-athletes nominated by the Ohio Athletics Department. The NCAA selected the participants based on leadership skills, academic and athletic performance and an essay that each candidate had to write.