Aug. 28, 2009

INDIANAPOLIS --- For the fifth consecutive year, all 88 National Collegiate Athletic Association championships will receive television exposure, including 10 fall sports to be featured in a one-hour special.

“CBS Sports Presents Championships of the NCAA” will air at 3:00 p.m. Eastern time/NOON Pacific time Saturday, December 29, on CBS Sports. Highlights and stories from cross country, field hockey, soccer and volleyball will be featured in the program. For the 2007-08 academic year, CBS Sports will feature over 40 of the NCAA’s 88 championships in the three seasonal shows.

Some of the student-athlete stories to be featured in the program include:

• Nicodemus Naimadu has won three consecutive NCAA individual championships in Division II Men’s Cross Country. This Abilene Christian University senior is looking to go down as one of the greatest runners in NCAA history if he can capture his fourth individual title in as many years.

• Melissa Harper, a sophomore at West Texas A&M University, playing in the NCAA Division II Women’s Volleyball semifinals was sidelined last season with a serious heart condition that left her wondering if she’d every be able to play sports again.

• Bethany Schwing is running in the NCAA Division II Women’s Cross Country Championship. This Bloomsburg University junior is in pursuit of something greater than a race time. Her father Kevin Schwing passed away suddenly just months ago and she is running to honor him and their history together.

• Santiago Mejia and Miguel Bonilla have come a long way from Medellin, Colombia to Dubuque, Iowa to play soccer. The two childhood friends are trying to make history at Loras College by winning their school’s first national championship in any sport at this year’s Division III Men’s Soccer Championship.

• Larry Bock, head coach of Juniata College’s women’s volleyball team, is hoping to defend his team’s national championship and add to his record of winningest coach in NCAA Division III Women’s Volleyball.

Through the NCAA-CBS 11-year bundled rights agreement, CBS Sports has aired 15 seasonal shows from the three NCAA sports seasons (fall, winter, spring) over the last five years. The Saturday, December 29th show is the 16th edition. The seasonal shows typically feature highlights and unique NCAA student-athlete stories from the Division II and III championships.

CBS Sports’ Sam Ryan will host “CBS Sports Presents Championships of the NCAA,” for the second time. Ryan joined CBS Sports in June 2006 as a contributor to the Network’s NFL pre-game show, THE NFL TODAY, and the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. She also serves as weekend sports anchor and reporter for CBS 2 in New York.

This fall’s highlight show (CBS Sports Presents Championships of the NCAA) was produced by Sarah Rinaldi. John Paquet and Dan Ramirez served as feature producers.