FCS Awards banquet set for Dec. 17

The cobblestone roads of a historical city will lead to an evening of recognizing achievement in college football.

The Football Championship Subdivision Awards Presentation and Banquet is returning to the City of Brotherly Love this year.

The Sports Network announced Tuesday that the 26th annual awards ceremony will be held on Monday evening, Dec. 17, 2012, at the Sheraton Society Hill Hotel in Philadelphia, a stone's throw - or perhaps a quarterback's pass to a wide receiver on the fly - from Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell and so many other historical sites.

TSN, whose headquarters are located in nearby Hatboro, will present the four major awards in the FCS - the Walter Payton (FCS outstanding player) and the Eddie Robinson (FCS coach of the year) for the 26th time, the Buck Buchanan (FCS outstanding defensive player) for the 18th time, and the Jerry Rice (FCS freshman of the year) for the second time.

A star-studded list of guests, as always, will be in attendance for the magical night. A cobblestone street will guide them to the stately Sheraton Society Hill.

"Having attended and graduated from a small school myself, actually Division III," said Mickey Charles, President and CEO of The Sports Network, "I was acutely aware of the lack of recognition paid to the universities and colleges of the then-Division I-AA and, in particular, to all of the stellar football graduates whose exploits and names were household items during the NFL season. It was simply a matter of my providing a platform for the acknowledgment and respect they so richly deserved. It seems, happily, that we have succeeded over the years."

The Payton, Buchanan, Rice and Robinson awards will be voted on by a panel of more than 150 sports information and media relations directors, broadcasters, writers and other dignitaries following the regular season. The top three vote-getters for the Payton Award and the winners of the other three awards will be invited to the FCS Awards Presentation.

At last season's awards presentation in Frisco, Texas, Eastern Washington quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell and Towson coach Rob Ambrose were the silver anniversary recipients of the Payton and Robinson awards, respectively. New Hampshire linebacker Matt Evans captured the Buck Buchanan Award and Towson running back Terrance West was the Jerry Rice Award recipient.