Potuto earns Faculty Athletics Representative honor

Josephine Potuto
Josephine Potuto

Josephine Potuto is one of 15 faculty athletics representatives who will be honored as part of the 2012 National Football Foundation Faculty Salute Initiative, noting the role and contributions of faculty athletics representatives across the nation.

Launched in 2011 by Fidelity Investments and the NFF, the initiative is an extension of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards Program that provides postgraduate scholarships for college football's elite student-athletes. Fidelity, which is also the presenting sponsor of the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards, has taken on a leadership role with the initiative as a natural extension of its ongoing support of the scholar-athlete ideal and commitment to higher education nationwide.

As part of the initiative, each school with an NFF National Scholar-Athlete receives recognition for their faculty athletics representative, and a $5,000 donation per school ($75,000 total) from Fidelity will be made to support the academic support services for student-athletes at each school.

Rex Burkhead received one of the 15 national scholar athlete recognitions for 2012.

The program currently provides $300,000 each year in post-graduate scholarships to the nation's top scholar-athletes from all levels of collegiate play. 

Nominated by their schools, which are limited to one nominee each, candidates must be a senior or graduate student in their final year of eligibility, have a grade point average of at least 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, have outstanding football ability as a first team player and have demonstrated strong leadership and citizenship. The class is selected each year by the NFF Awards Committee, which is comprised of a nationally recognized group of media, College Football Hall of Fame inductees, and athletics administrators.

The committee traditionally selects 15 to 17 scholar-athletes from across the country for these prestigious $18,000 fellowships.

Potuto is Richard H. Larson Professor of Constitutional Law at UNL and is the university's faculty athletics representative to the NCAA and the Big Ten Conference. Potuto's expertise is constitutional law, procedural and criminal law, federal jurisdiction and sports law. She has been UNL's faculty athletics representative since 1997 and is president of the 1A Faculty Athletics Representatives, an organization of faculty athletics representatives at Division I institutions in the Football Bowl Subdivision. She has testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on the Constitution on due process in NCAA infractions hearings and chaired the Division I Committee on Infractions.

She has been an expert witness on NCAA processes in litigation, frequently gives lectures about the NCAA and has written numerous articles on NCAA processes.

For more information about the NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards or the College Football Hall of Fame programs, please visit http://www.footballfoundation.org