South Carolina Gamecocks star running back Marcus Lattimore suffered another season-ending knee injury in 2012 during a game in late October against the Tennessee Volunteers, and he was carted off the field in the first-half of the game. Per Evan Woodbery of Go Vols Extra, the Volunteers received the SEC’s sportsmanship award (the South Carolina Gamecocks also received a share of the award) for their response in the aftermath of Lattimore’s crushing injury.
Both players from Tennessee and, of course, South Carolina showed great sportsmanship in comforting Lattimore following the injury instead of getting into a spat or doing something else pity.
Although it is apparent that a severe injury should be treated with such a manner of class, it is still important to reward those who do their job in making this a moment of supporting the injured player instead of starting a fight.
Tennessee showed plenty of class in this, and they deserve to be honored by the SEC with an annual sportsmanship award. It was an incredibly serious injury, and both sides carried themselves with the proper decorum following the play.
Here is what SEC commissioner Mike Slive had to say:
“Sportsmanship, civility and societal responsibility are things that will lead to victories throughout the course of life. I congratulate Maho and the University of South Carolina and University of Tennessee football teams for this prestigious honor, and for being committed to athletic excellence and overall excellence.”