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March 13, 2006

Columbia, S.C. – The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA), in association with Coca-Cola, recognizes intercollegiate athletes who are making a difference in their communities. The USC Athletics Department has nominated senior catcher Ashley Smith of the Gamecock softball team as its 2006 nomination. Smith, is a Civil Engineering major and a seven-time President’s List selection by the USC College of Engineering. Smith has been actively involved in community outreach programs here in Columbia, as well as her hometown of Portage, Mich., throughout her college career. She has volunteered her time through many philanthropic organizations including the River Alliance, Harvest Hope Food Bank, Home Works of SC, elementary schools, youth sports leagues and educational initiatives.

Smith is also a two-time SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year and a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American. The University salutes Smith for all of her accomplishments athletically, academically and in our community.

The Coca-Cola Community All-American recognizes outstanding student-athletes that give back to their community and go the extra mile when it comes to volunteering. This honor is given to a student-athlete whose service most embodies the spirit of generosity and volunteerism.

Smith will now represent South Carolina on the national ballot for the Coca-Cola Community All-American honor. In April, NACDA will notify seven institutions whose nominated student-athletes have been selected as the 2005-06 national Coca-Cola Community All-American winners. The top seven student-athlete community volunteers from around the country will be recognized and rewarded with the Coca-Cola Community All-American honors in the spring.