MEAC/SWAC Challenge Presented by Disney Unveils Walter Payton Achievement Award Nominees

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MEAC/SWAC Challenge Presented by Disney Unveils Walter Payton Achievement Award Nominees

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July 20, 2010

Fans Can Vote Online; Recipients will be Honored during MEAC/SWAC Challenge on Sept. 5

The MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney today announced the six nominees for the third annual Walter Payton Achievement Award. The award is given to one player from each of the schools participating in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge. Now in its sixth year, the game will pit the MEAC’s Delaware State against the SWAC’s Southern University for the first time since 1986. The game will return to Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium in Orlando, Fla., and will air live Sunday, Sept. 5, at noon ET on ESPN, ESPN HD and

Three finalists from each school were selected by a committee of academic advisers and coaches. Delaware State nominees: Andre Caroll (DT, Sr.); Kevin Green (LB, Sr.); and Larrone Moore (WR/KR, Sr.). Southern nominees: Jason House (DB, Sr.); Gary Hollimon (RB, Sr.); and Ramon Chinyoung (OL, Sr.).

For just the second time, fans will determine the winners via online voting at from July 20-Aug. 21 via this link: Winners will be announced and will be honored at the MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff Banquet on Friday, Sept. 3, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Each year, the game is played at a neutral site within the footprint of one of the conferences. The inaugural MEAC/SWAC Challenge in 2005 showcased the MEAC’s South Carolina State vs. Alabama State of the SWAC, with South Carolina State prevailing, 27-14. In 2006, the contest went into overtime with the MEAC’s Hampton University defeating the SWAC’s Grambling State, 27-26.

The SWAC earned its first MEAC/SWAC Challenge trophy in 2007, as Southern defeated Florida A&M, 33-27. The event moved in 2008 from Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala., to Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium in Orlando, Fla., where the MEAC reclaimed the MEAC/SWAC Challenge crown, as Hampton defeated Jackson State 17-13 and MEAC power South Carolina State earned the trophy in 2009, defeating the SWAC’s Grambling State 34-31. The MEAC leads the series 4-1. Teams for future games are determined on an annual basis.

About the Walter Payton Achievement Award

The Walter Payton Achievement Award was first presented in 2008. The honor is given annually to a player from each school participating in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney. Like Payton, who starred at Jackson State from 1971 to 1974 and earned his bachelor’s degree in communications, the recipients must be high achievers in the classroom and on the football field.  Nominees are selected by a committee consisting of academic advisers and coaches and the winners are determined by online fan voting. The inaugural award recipients, in 2008, were Jackson State University linebacker Marcus Smith and Hampton University wide receiver Kevin Teel. 

ESPN Regional Television/Event Ownership
The nation’s largest syndicator of collegiate sports programming, ESPN Regional Television (ERT) annually produces more than 1,000 telecasts of sporting events. Programming includes football, basketball, NCAA events, golf and NHRA events accounting for more than 2,200 live and/or original hours of programming. In addition to event ownership, ERT is the production headquarters for ESPNU, the 24-hour college sports network; syndication rights-holder and producer of national, regional and local shows for college conferences (e.g. – SEC, BIG EAST, Big 12, Mid-American, WAC).

ESPN Regional Television markets and/or owns several sporting events, including collegiate football events: the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl St. Petersburg; Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl (Fort Worth, Texas); MAACO Bowl Las Vegas; New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Bowl (Birmingham, Ala.); Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu); Texas Bowl (Houston); the MEAC/SWAC Challenge presented by Disney (Orlando, Fla.); and The Home Depot ESPNU College Football Awards; collegiate basketball events: the 76 Classic (Anaheim, Calif.); Cancun Governor’s Cup; Charleston Classic (S.C.); DIRECTV SEC/BIG EAST Invitational; Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Old Spice Classic (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); Puerto Rico Tip-Off (San Juan); All-College Basketball Classic (Oklahoma City) and BracketBusters; as well as the new ESPNU Warrior Classic (Lacrosse) and the ESPN National Golf Challenge presented by Callaway. For more information, visit

Media Contacts: Media Contacts: Patricia Porter, MEAC/Media Coordinator, at 757-416-7100 ext. 7116 or [email protected]; Bryan Malenius, Disney, 407-828-5075 or [email protected]; Jenny Zimmerman, ESPN, at 407-566-2213 or [email protected]

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