Competing in track and field, a sport in which the smallest of margins can make the difference between victory and defeat, Mike displayed an unmatched commitment to honesty at the 2006 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Championships. A freshman decathlete, Mike was in position to move up in the standings – earning prestige for himself and valuable points for his team – as the competition moved to the javelin, the ninth of 10 events. On his first throw, Mike was mistakenly credited with a distance of 51.34 meters. The mark was well beyond his personal best and unlikely given the fact that he had suffered a fracture in his throwing arm just two weeks before. Even though accepting the incorrect mark would have boosted his team’s conference title hopes, Mike and his coaches alerted officials to the mistake. Meet officials initially refused to change the mark, but Mike repeated his request to have the erroneous score thrown out. Eventually the officials agreed. As it turned out, had he accepted the incorrect mark, he would have moved from eighth to seventh in the decathlon standings and earned Slippery Rock an extra point in the team competition. But for Mike, the best mark was the mark of sportsmanship that he displayed in adhering to the highest standards of honesty and integrity. A physical education major at Slippery Rock, Mike is originally from Houston, Penn. He was a four-year letterwinner in soccer, cross country, and track at Chartiers-Houston High School.
Mike Rose is the recipient of the 2006 NCAA Male Sportsmanship Award.