Helms Athletic Foundation
The Helms Athletic Foundation was an athletic foundation based in Los Angeles, California. It was founded in 1936 by Bill Schroeder and Paul Helms. The foundation selected national champion teams and made All-America team selections in a number of college sports, including football and basketball. The organization continued to select national champions until 1982. It also retroactively selected national champions in college football dating from 1947 back to the 1883 season and in college basketball from 1942 back to the 1900–01 season. The Helms Foundation also operated a hall of fame for both college sports. Selections prior to 1936 are often disputed as many of them are not derived from actual head-to-head competition and rely on historical documents to interpret champions.
Besides collegiate athletics, the Foundation operated halls of fame for professional football, Major League Baseball, the Pacific Coast League, basketball, fencing, golf, tennis, swimming, auto racing, and track and field.
After Paul Helms' death in 1957, United Savings and Loan became the Helms Foundation's benefactor and when United merged with Citizen Savings Bank in 1973, the Athletic Foundation became known as the Citizens Savings Athletic Foundation. It was again renamed in 1982 when First Interstate Bank assumed sponsorship for the foundation's final year. Paul Helms started Helms Bakery in Southern California, which was the official bread (Helms Olympic bread) of the 1932 Olympics. Helms Hall was located on 8760 Venice Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. The Helms Olympics neon sign still can be seen on top of the building.
National champions[lower-alpha 1]
From 1939, when the NCAA Tournament started, the Helms and NCAA Division I champions were the same, except for 1939, 1940, 1944, and 1954 when Oregon, Indiana, Utah, and La Salle respectively won the tournament. Some schools claim a Helms nomination as a national championship.
- "A 'championship' is something that is won, most generally on the field of play against direct competition. A 'title' is something that is given or awarded by someone else, in honor of an achievement or as a designation of being considered the best at something. … So while it is generally true that winning a championship also involves a title being associated with it, the converse does not always hold. In many cases, a title can be given without a formal championship or competition being held at all. In other words, being awarded a title does not necessarily confer that a championship was even present, much less attained. In the case of collegiate basketball, there are actually many titles which can be claimed, some which are associated with winning a tournament (NCAA Tournament, NIT tournament, Conference tournament etc.) and some which are not (Associated Press #1, Highest Attendance, top Sagarin Rating). The latter do not constitute a championship. It is into this group that the Helms title falls."
The World Trophy, originally known as the Helms Award, was an annual sporting award established by the Helms Athletic Foundation in 1939 to honor the foremost amateur athlete of each continent of the world, including Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America. Even though the Foundation was established in 1936, the awards date back to 1896, the year of the first Summer Olympics.
- World Trophy for Australasia
- World Trophy for Africa
- World Trophy for Asia
- World Trophy for Europe
- World Trophy for North America
- World Trophy for South America
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- "Helms Athletic Foundation" (PDF). Bulletin du Comite International Olympique (No 25): 26–28. 1951.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>