The Sportspersons of the Year Award was started in 2000-01 to annually recognize student-athletes who displayed an extraordinary degree of sportsmanship and/or community service during the academic year. Vise and Stuckey were selected by a media panel. The Big 12's recipients are nominated for the NCAA Sportsmanship Award.
Vise recovered from the disappointment of not making the 2004 USA Women's Gymnastics Olympic Team to earn All-America honors in three events at the 2010 NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships.
It was a difficult transition as her frustration led to a two-year absence from training and competition. Vise found herself unable to perform the most basic of gymnastics routines once she returned to the sport as an Oklahoma freshman. Mindful that the athletics scholarship was her only means of obtaining a college education, the 2003 uneven bars World Champion put herself through the physical and emotional toll to regain her lost form and lead the Sooners to their third straight Big 12 Championship and a second-place national finish in 2010.
The Dallas, Texas, native was involved in numerous community service activities this past year including helping with a Haiti benefit, volunteering at the Firehouse Art Center and participating in an OU athletics department Red Cross Blood Drive as will as the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Many of Vise's volunteer activities focused on assisting children as she worked at the Cancer Kids Camp, participated in the Children's Miracle Network Fitness Challenge and hosted Special Spectators - a program for seriously ill youngsters at the Oklahoma Children's Hospital. Vise also took part in Sunday Funday at Jefferson Elementary, a fundraiser for childhood leukemia research.
Stuckey has been a leader for the Jayhawks both on and off the field since arriving on campus - earning the nickname of "Senator Stuckey." He was elected by his peers to the Student-Athlete Advisory Executive Committee (SAAC) as a sophomore and remained on the committee through the remainder of his collegiate career. As a member of SAAC, he worked with children in local elementary schools to promote literacy through the KU READ program as well as a healthy lifestyle through Fun and Fitness with the Jayhawks.
The Kansas City, Kan., native was elected as a student senator for the school of Liberal Arts and Sciences and was voted by his teammates as "Most Likely to Succeed." Additionally, Stuckey was named to the 11-member All-State Good Works Team and was a Big 12 Community of Champions member. He was instrumental in starting a Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) campus ministry at KU while also serving in other local ministries. Stuckey was a semifinalist for the Jim Thorpe Award, quarterfinalist for the Lott Award and played in the East-West Shrine Game. He was invited to NFL Combine after leading Kansas with 98 tackles.
As an example of his good sportsmanship, the NFL fourth-round draft pick turned a negative comment directed towards him and his team through a social networking site into an act of goodwill with his positive response. The instigator then replied back to Stuckey in a complimentary manner.