University of Cincinnati (UC) track and field standout Brian Barney, a health sciences major concentrating in exercise and movement in the College of Allied Health Sciences, has been named the 2014-15 American Athletic Conference Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
"It’s such an honor to be recognized for the hard work that I’ve put in as both a student and an athlete,” says the senior from South Holland, Illinois, who has been a four-year contributor to the UC Bearcats' track and field program as a middle-distance runner and holds a 3.907 GPA.
Just prior to the announcement in March, Barney aided the Bearcats in a fourth-place finish at the American Athletic Conference Indoor Championship by leading off the men's distance medley relay. The relay clocked a time of 10:09.54, which is the sixth fastest in UC history and the fastest time of any Cincinnati relay since 1998.
In addition to his athletic abilities, Barney, has a stellar academic achievements record: He has conducted published research on neuro-excitability, therapeutics and recovery; he was chosen as a recipient of the Cincinnatus XV Presidential Scholarship, the university's highest monetary scholarship given to undergraduate students; he is among the 5 percent of Cincinnati undergraduates to be invited to the university's honors program; and he has been endorsed by the university as a candidate for the prestigious Rhodes and Fulbright scholarships.
Additionally, Barney has served as president of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity, Lambda Theta Chapter, president of the ADVANCE Organization, vice president of Inter-Greek Affairs for UC’s National Pan-Hellenic Council and was a member of Cincinnati's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
With all that he’s achieved in his four years at UC, one has to ask a "chicken or the egg” question: Does his concentration in exercise and movement make him a better athlete or is he a better student because he is an athlete?
"I definitely think that being involved in athletics has made me a better student. Having to dedicate up to 20 hours a week to my sport forces me to be efficient with my free time so that I can excel in my studies.”
As an American Athletic Conference Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Barney will receive a $4,000 scholarship, which may be applied to graduate or professional studies.