Seven Big East players were among the record 132 nominations for the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team, honoring those student-athletes who excel in community service.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the program. All those nominated must be actively involved with a charitable organization, service group or community service while maintaining good academic standing. Congratulations to all the nominees, who deserve to be recognized for their outstanding work off the field.
Here are the Big East nominees:
Adam Harris, Syracuse. Harris is an active volunteer at the Syracuse Justice Center and frequently returns to his high school, Towanda Junior Senior, to mentor young players. He also serves on the Syracuse Leadership Council representing the football team.
Chaz Hine, USF. Hine is a founding member of the Student Coalition Against Homelessness and Poverty and volunteers at the Shriner's Hospitals for Children. In addition, Hine has a terrific opera voice. He served as a guest singer at the USF Women’s Club meeting. Hine also is a terrific student. He was voted “Most Remarkable” out of the USF College of Business’ 25 Under 25.
J.K. Schaffer, Cincinnati. Schaffer is heavily involved with UC’s Cats in the Community Program, taking part in Right To Read, UC's Play After Practice program, Recess With The Bearcats, and College Mentors For Kids while also volunteering at the Ronald McDonald House, Walnut Hills Soup Kitchen and at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. He also is a three-time Academic All-Big East honoree (2009, 2010, 2011), seven-time Top Cat Award Winner for a quarter GPA of 3.5 or above and was inducted into the UC Athletics Academic Legion of Excellence in the Fall of 2010.
Greg Scruggs, Louisville. Scruggs is a mentor, tutor and role model for the students at Cincinnati Boys Hope. He also volunteers for the Down Syndrome of Louisville, Special Olympics and Toys for Tots, and is a participant in the Everybody Loves to Read elementary reading program.
Andrew Taglianetti, Pittsburgh. Taglianetti is a regular visitor to Pittsburgh’s VA Hospital, interacting with patients and handing out gift bags and is an active volunteer and mentor in the Panther Paws and Little Panther sports clinics. He also is a member of the MDA Muscle Team on behalf of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and serves as an MDA Ambassador.
Keith Tandy, West Virginia. Tandy serves as a mentor for the Boys and Girls Club. He also has spoken at local schools and camps about the importance of education and being drug-free, and has visited patients at WVU Children’s Hospital.
Scott Vallone, Rutgers. Vallone has participated in the New Jersey Bocce Invitational, which helped to raise more than $15,000 for Operation Shoebox, preparing care packages for soldiers. He also has been a motivational speaker and mentor at local elementary schools and is an Elijah’s Promise soup kitchen volunteer.