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On This Day In History | 1998

December 13, 2017
Football 1997

The ’97 football squad. (Robinson, top row #57)

On this day 19 years ago, Elliot Robinson earned the National Football Foundation’s Scholar-Athlete Award at the Downtown Athletic Club in New York City.

Here is a recap of the event from Gregg Sarra of Newsday.

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Yesterday, Kevin Cassese, the model of class and professionalism, added yet another chapter to his brilliant career. For his academic achievements, he was named to the National Football Foundation’s Golden Eleven for Suffolk County at the Downtown Athletic Club in Manhattan. He also took home the James LaBue Award presented to the outstanding scholar-athlete by the Suffolk County Football Coaches Association.

Barbara and Tom Cassese beamed as their son stood alongside Heisman Trophy winner Ricky Williams of Texas and Stony Brook’s Elliot Robinson during yesterday’s photo session. Robinson edged Cassese to grab the National Football Foundation’s scholar-athlete award. It was the first time in the four years of the award that the selected player did not also earn the LaBue.

“We had so many student-athletes that had unbelievable resumes and the selection process was difficult,” said Leonard Genova, president of the Nassau and Suffolk chapters of the National Football Foundation. “The criterium for selection was based on academics, exemplary school leadership, citizenship and superior football performance.”

Robinson, who lives on campus at Stony Brook, hails from Lexington, Mass., and was a two-way starter for the Bears for the past three years. He played linebacker and offensive tackle while maintaining a perfect 4.17 grade point average. He scored a 1440 on his SAT.

“This is truly an honor for myself, my family and the school,” Robinson said. “I’ve never had to look for my support group. And my parents never allowed me to settle for second best.”

Stony Brook coach Brooks Johnson called Robinson a quiet leader who worked hard in the weight room to build himself up and was an inspiration to his team after returning this season from rotator cuff surgery last spring.

“He’s been a good role model for our student-athletes,” Johnson said. “And a tough kid on the field.”

Robinson received $4,000 from the National Football Foundation. Cassese earned $500 as did the rest of the Golden Eleven.

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National Football Foundation

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