Press Releases

STATS FCS Awards

Briscoe Wins STATS FCS Walter Payton Award, Schult Takes Home Buchanan as NFL Stars Fete FCS Athletes at STATS Awards Banquet

By:

Frisco, Texas – Jan. 19, 2017 – The stars came out in full force on the eve of the FCS national title game as football legends like Jerry Rice presented the subdivision’s annual honors – including Jarrett Payton, the son of Walter, giving away the illustrious STATS FCS Walter Payton Award to Sam Houston State quarterback Jeremiah Briscoe – at the STATS FCS Awards Banquet.

The event marked the 30th anniversary of the Payton Award, known as the Heisman Trophy of the FCS, as well as the 30th year of the Eddie Robinson Award for the FCS’ coach of the year, also taken home by a Bearkat – K.C. Keeler. Grambling alum and Super Bowl XXII MVP Doug Williams stood in for his former mentor in handing the hardware to the Sam Houston State coach, who led his team to an undefeated (11-0) regular season.

Briscoe set an FCS single-season record with 57 touchdown passes and was the subdivision’s regular-season leader in passing yards (4,096) and passing rating (187.0) while sitting out the fourth quarter of seven games as his Bearkats often overwhelmed the competition. Briscoe beat out Eastern Washington’s dynamic duo of Cooper Kupp – last year’s Payton winner who added another 1,700 yards and 17 TDs to bolster his case as the FCS’ best wide receiver of all time – and Gage Gubrud, who exploded onto the scene in his first year as a starter with an FCS-record 5,160 passing yards by the time the postseason ended.

The STATS FCS Buck Buchanan Award, presented by two-time Buchanan winner and former Dallas Cowboys All-Pro linebacker Dexter Coakley, was won by Northern Illinois’ Karter Schult. The defensive end led Division I with 17 sacks and tied for second with a school-record 24 tackles for loss. Sam Houston State was denied the major awards trifecta with Bearkats defensive end P.J. Hall coming in second, while Missouri State linebacker Dylan Cole came in third.

In the first award of the night handed out, Rice gave away his eponymous honor, reflecting the FCS’ top freshman, to Duquesne running back A.J. Hines. Hines ran for a frosh-high 1,291 yards and 13 scores to lead the Dukes to an 8-3 mark.

The STATS FCS Doris Robinson Scholar-Athlete Award went to Eastern Kentucky quarterback Tyler Swafford. Swafford, who holds a 4.0 GPA, was recently named a George J. Mitchell Scholar, a prestigious honor that will see him spend the next year working on a postgraduate degree in Dublin. He plans to pursue a career as an international human rights attorney. Quentin Burrell – the great-grandson of Eddie and Doris Robinson, a former Notre Dame defensive back and current Grambling assistant – presented the award.

The banquet, which had over 150 people in attendance, was hosted by Gary Reasons, the former New York Giants linebacker and Northwestern State alum who is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame.

STATS took over the presentation of the Payton, Robinson, Buchanan and Rice awards this year, inheriting them from Mickey Charles, the former CEO of The Sports Network. Charles was honored with a lifetime achievement award for his three decades of work bringing attention to the FCS.

STATS Takes Over Payton, Buchanan, Robinson, Rice Awards, Announces FCS Banquet Date

By:

CHICAGO – Nov. 3, 2016 – STATS, the world’s leading sports data and technology company, announced an agreement today that will allow it to hand out a quartet of legacy NCAA Football Championship Series (FCS) awards tied to some of the biggest names in the subdivision’s history.

Just prior to the FCS postseason concluding in January, STATS will present:

  • • The FCS Walter Payton Award, given to the FCS’ offensive player of the year;
  • • The FCS Buck Buchanan Award, given to its defensive player of the year;
  • • The FCS Eddie Robinson Award, given to its coach of the year; and
  • • The FCS Jerry Rice Award, given to its freshman of the year.

Founded by Mickey Charles of The Sports Network, the annual honors date back to 1987, when the Payton Award was presented to running back Kenny Gamble of Colgate. Since then, names of future NFL stars like Steve McNair, Brian Westbrook and Tony Romo have been called up to accept the hardware. Last season, Cooper Kupp – who became the FCS’ all-time leader in receiving yards and touchdowns this season – was the winner. The Robinson Award also began in 1987.

“I’ve always considered the storylines of the FCS to be just as important as the rest of Division I college football,” said Charles. “And lacking a Heisman of their own, what better choice than in the name of a football legend, Walter Payton? I am pleased to pass on three decades’ worth of history to STATS for custodianship and expansion at this time.”

The same national panel of sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers, and other dignitaries who select the STATS FCS Top 25 poll – numbering over 150 voters – will choose the winners. Those awards join the STATS FCS Doris Robinson Scholar-Athlete Award, created one year ago to honor the wife of Eddie Robinson and her service to community and academics.

These awards will be presented to the winning athletes during the end-of-season banquet that will take place Friday, Jan. 6, 2017 – the night before the FCS championship game in Frisco, Texas – at the Embassy Suites Dallas-Frisco Convention Center. Last January, almost 200 attendees representing a cross-section of FCS roles came together for STATS’ inaugural awards ceremony.

The Buchanan Award goes back to 1995 and includes such notable alums as Dexter Coakley and Jared Allen, while the Rice Award was created in 2011.

“Coming from an FCS school, I’m proud to lend my name to such a distinction, and to help STATS expand its national coverage initiative,” said Rice, a Mississippi Valley State graduate who is almost universally recognized as the greatest wide receiver of all time and was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2010.

Prior to last season, STATS expanded an initiative to serve the FCS community with staples such as a pre- and postseason All-America team, weekly Top 25 poll, national players of the week, award watch lists and season-ending awards.

In addition, STATS created a dedicated FCS website – www.fcs.football – featuring breaking news, real-time scores and other unique content that combined the strengths of STATS’ data, editorial and product expertise. Launched prior to the 2015 season,  the site has accumulated close to two million page views over the past 12 months.

“We laid down a strong coverage foundation last season and, in the process, developed incredible relationships with the schools and the conferences,” said Brian Orefice, STATS’ Director of News. “But we want to ride that momentum into even better content and broader exposure. Thanks to Mickey, inheriting these awards and all they represent can only help us achieve those goals as we try to maintain the legacy of the FCS’ rich past while pushing forward toward its promising future.”

The FCS competes at the NCAA’s Division I level, and is home to 125 schools in 13 conferences across the country. Approximately 150 FCS players are on NFL rosters annually, including current stars like Romo (Eastern Illinois), Joe Flacco (Delaware), Carson Wentz (North Dakota State), David Johnson (Northern Iowa), Josh Norman (Coastal Carolina) and Julius Thomas (Portland State).

STATS Fantasy Games Nominated for FSTA Awards

By:

Chicago – January 15, 2016 –STATS LLC, the world’s leading sports technology, data and content company, is proud to have been nominated in three categories in the final ballot for the 2016 Fantasy Sports Trade Association (FSTA) Awards.

STATS’ National Fantasy Baseball Championship was nominated in the Best Fantasy Sports Contest and Best Fantasy Sports Live Event categories, while the Buffalo Wild Wings fantasy football game was named as a finalist in the Best Fantasy Sports Contest and Best Full-Season Fantasy Games.

STATS is the industry leader for fantasy sports game management and the only vertically integrated provider of both sports statistics and fantasy game development. As an official source and distribution partner for major leagues around the world, STATS is relied upon by major providers when the most timely and accurate sports data will do to power fantasy games.

Founded in 1998, the FSTA represents the fantasy sports industry and has a membership of over 300 companies. The FSTA compiles demographic surveys of the fantasy sports market, providing demographic data and research to its members.

The award winners will be announced during a ceremony on January 20 as part of 2016 FSTA Winter Conference in Dallas, Texas.