Long-time sports broadcaster Dick Enberg has committed to a six-year pledge of funding post-graduate scholarships to Cal State Northridge student-athletes, the school announced on its website today.
Enberg was a health education professor at San Fernando Valley State from 1961-‘65 (prior to its name change of Cal State Northridge) as well as serving as an assistant baseball coach for three seasons as he was beginning his broadcasting career to suppliment his income. Eventually, he became a full-time play-by-play man for the Angels, UCLA basketball and the NFL’s Rams in 1965 as the sports director of KTLA-Channel 5, which he parlayed into a career at CBS, NBC and ESPN and continues calling San Diego Padres games today.
Enberg has long been a supporter of NCAA-related academic ventures related to athletes in pursuit of their degrees.
“For nearly 30 years, I have been the spokesman for the Academic All-America Program, honoring student-athletes throughout the United States who have distinguished themselves in the classroom and the athletic arena,” Enberg said in a statement.
“These, in my opinion, are the ‘crème de la crème’ of our college students and are deserving of our full praise. In that spirit, I’m pleased to offer an annual graduate scholarship to the CSUN student-athlete who exemplifies what is the best of academic and athletic life on the CSUN campus. Hail to the Matadors.”
To qualify for an Enberg scholarship, a Matador athlete must have graduated with a cumulative GPA or 3.2 or better, was a four-year letter winner, and majored in either Education, Health & Human Development, Psychology, CTVA or Journalism. Community service is also a part of the requirement.
“The team and individual championships are noteworthy, but academic success is our prime directive,” said CSUN athletic director Brandon Martin. “We are proud of the many academic awards, the integrity, and the character that our student-athletes have displayed in pursuit of success in the classroom and in the community. The post-graduate scholarships that Dick Enberg is providing will assist our student-athletes in their continued quest for comprehensive excellence.”
Enberg’s link to athletics and academics goes to his annually hosting the Academic All-America Hall of Fame ceremony, created in 1988 to pay tribute to past Academic All-America team members who have gone on to make contributions to society.
In 1999, Indiana University established the Dick Enberg Distance Learning Center in the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. In 2007, Central Michigan honored its alum with the naming and dedication of the Dick Enberg Academic Center on the campus, as well as established two scholarships in his name recognizing scholarship, community involvement and athletic accomplishment. Enberg also has endowed a scholarship at CMU for freshman entering the studies of health professional.
Since 1997, the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) has annually present a Dick Enberg Award to a coach who has exceeded in furthering academic achievement with his players.
Enberg also helped with initial contributions to the Lyman Bostock Memorial Fund that was established at CSUN soon after the Angels outfielder’s death. Enberg felt a kinship with Bostock, a San Fernando Valley State star player before he was drafted by Minnesota and came to the Angels as a free agent for his one and only season, 1978.
Bostock and Enberg were among the first inductees into the Cal State Northridge athletic Hall of Fame in 1981.