"It is an honor to receive this award from the NCAA that recognizes institutions for excellence in one of the Division II initiatives," said Mark A. Corino, Executive Director of Athletics at Caldwell. "The televised game was a success due to the efforts of many groups on campus, from athletics to the administration to the students. Without everyone's help, we would not have been able to have the type of environment that we had that day, so this award is for everyone in our campus community."
The televised women's basketball game against Bloomfield College provided an opportunity to create an exciting and positive game environment while involving different departments across campus. A pre-game brunch for students, faculty and staff was hosted by Human Resources, the music department organized a pep band to play at the game, and alumni receptions were held during and after the game. All Caldwell fans wore white, with free Cougar t-shirts handed out at the door. Caldwell College also reached out to rival Bloomfield, reserving half of the bleachers for its fans, involving its Athletic Director, Sheila Wooten, in preparation meetings, and providing a room on campus for a pre-game reception for Bloomfield alums. The result was a packed George R. Newman Center, filled to capacity with enthusiastic fans from both sides.
"The atmosphere in the gym that day was electric," said Linda Cimino, Caldwell's Assistant Director of Athletics and the head women's basketball coach. "Our players were so excited to play in front of such a big crowd, and I know the CBS College Sports people were impressed with the support and enthusiasm of our fans. The fact that everyone on campus as well as the people from Bloomfield worked together to create such a great event is what made that day unforgettable."
The goal of Division II’s national game environment initiative is designed to engage the institution’s community to promote a positive game atmosphere. Game environment is more than just sportsmanship; it addresses anything from student-athlete, coach and fan behavior, to pep bands, to healthy concessions and clean venues. The initiative calls for the need for sportsmanship from players and coaches on courts and fields of play and also strives to ensure a family-friendly and lively game atmosphere.