Matt Leinart Named A Finalist For Sullivan Award

March 7, 2005

USC quarterback Matt Leinart, who won the Heisman Trophy while leading the Trojans to a second consecutive national championship last season, has been named as one of 10 finalists for the 2004 Sullivan Award, which is given to the nation's top amateur athlete.

The winner will be announced on April 13 at a banquet in New York.

Joining Leinart as finalists are, alphabetically: Elisha Au (karate), Natalie Coughlin (swimming), Paul Hamm (gymnastics), Steven Lopez (taekwondo), Carly Patterson (gymnastics), Michael Phelps (swimming), Cael Sanderson (wrestling), Andre Ward (boxing) and Jeremy Wariner (track and field).

Phelps won the award in 2003.

The last football player to win the Sullivan Award was Peyton Manning in 1997.

Four Trojans have won the Sullivan Award: diver Sammy Lee (1953), shot putter Parry O'Brien (1959), swimmer John Naber (1977) and swimmer Janet Evans (1989).

This year's winner will be determined by a vote of AAU officials, U.S. Olympic Committee members, college sports information directors and others. Also, for the first time, fans can vote at sports.usatoday.com. Online voting will be weighted to account for one-third of the total.

The award is named after James E. Sullivan, founder of the Orlando-based Amateur Athletic Union. It has been presented annually since 1930.

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