Fournette Wins SEC Sportsmanship Award
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (SEC) — Leonard Fournette of the LSU football team, Lloydricia Cameron of the Florida track & field team and the Kentucky Volleyball team and support staff are recipients of the ninth-annual Southeastern Conference Sportsmanship Awards, the league office announced Tuesday. The honorees were selected by a vote of the SEC’s 14 Directors of Athletics.
“There are many stories of sportsmanship and generosity on the part of Southeastern Conference student-athletes, and these three stories are indicative of a spirit that is pervasive in the SEC,” said Commissioner Greg Sankey. “We are proud of Leonard, Lloydricia and the Kentucky volleyball program for setting a standard of sportsmanship and exhibiting that spirit that lives in the heart of SEC student-athletes, coaches and staff members.”
Leonard Fournette of LSU earned the men’s SEC Sportsmanship Award for his actions in support of the people of South Carolina after unprecedented flooding in that state.
LSU’s scheduled road game against South Carolina was moved to Baton Rouge due to the flooding, reminiscent of the devastation in New Orleans that Fournette experienced in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. During a live on-air interview with ESPN following LSU’s game against the Gamecocks, Fournette announced to the nation that he would auction his jersey from the game to help the flood victims in South Carolina. The jersey auction was approved by the NCAA and raised $101,000, the most ever generated for an auction by an active college student-athlete.
Lloydricia Cameron of Florida was named co-winner of the women’s SEC Sportsmanship Award for her honesty and integrity concerning her mark in the discus competition at a track and field meet.
At the Tom Jones Memorial Invitational, Cameron was credited with a mark of 57.11 meters in the discus throw. Florida social media accounts posted a graphic with the mark, noting it was the No. 2-ranked throw in program history. Cameron saw the graphic and immediately went to the Gator throws coach to inform him the mark was incorrect. The throw of 57.11 was in fact foul and Cameron insisted her mark be changed to her next-furthest throw, which was 55.14 meters. The original mark would have ranked her in the nation’s top 10, but the corrected mark put her at No. 16 in the country.
The University of Kentucky volleyball team and support staff was named co-winner of the women’s SEC Sportsmanship Award for their care of an injured LSU volleyball player.
During a pre-match warmup period, LSU senior Cati Leak suffered an ankle dislocation that was originally thought to be a compound fracture. Led by Kentucky athletic trainer Katy Poole, UK Athletics personnel leaped into action, providing immediate medical care and assistance to Leak’s parents. UK personnel stayed with the family at a hospital throughout the medical evaluation period, and then provided hotel rooms to the family when it was determined surgery would be necessary. UK personnel remained with the family and Leak in the aftermath of the successful surgery.
In a follow-up gesture, Leak was honored at LSU’s senior day three weeks later when Kentucky visited Baton Rouge. It was agreed upon by the teams to allow Leak to serve the first point of the match. UK deferred first serve to enable Leak to have the first serve of the match.
Below is a list of all-time SEC Sportsmanship Award recipients:
2016 – Leonard Fournette, LSU (Football); Lloydricia Cameron, Florida (Track & Field); University of Kentucky Volleyball Team and Support Staff
2015 – Texas A&M Men’s Basketball Team and Support Staff; Aleighsa Welch, South Carolina (Basketball)
2014 – University of Missouri Football Team; Tennessee Men’s Basketball Team; University of Georgia Equestrian Team; SEC Women’s Golf Coaches
2013 – University of Tennessee and University of South Carolina Football Teams; Maho Kowase, Georgia (Tennis)
2012 – Matt Walters, Arkansas (Tennis); Joanna Mather, Florida (Tennis); Laura Eddy, Georgia (Soccer)
2011 – Louis Day, South Carolina (Track & Field); Ole Miss Softball Team
2010 – Rodney Scott, Ole Miss (Football); Sam Arbaugh, South Carolina (Softball)
2009 – Dorian Ulrey, Arkansas (Track & Field); Alabama Women’s Tennis Team
2008 – Chris Lofton, Tennessee (Basketball); Jessica Yadloczky, Florida (Golf)