Fournette receives 2015-16 SEC Sportsmanship Award
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - LSU’s record-setting running back, Leonard Fournette, has been named the men’s recipient of the 2015-16 SEC Sportsmanship Award, according to a Thursday announcement from the league.
Fournette joins the women’s winner Lloydricia Cameron of the Florida track & field team and the Kentucky Wildcat Volleyball team and support staff as the winners of this year’s award. It’s the ninth time it has been given out with the winners being 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.”
Fournette takes home the award in large part due to his actions in support of the people of South Carolina after the state saw unprecedented flooding.
The Tigers scheduled road game against the Gamecocks had to be moved to Baton Rouge due to flooding that was eerily reminiscent of the devastation that New Orleans and Fournette saw during Hurricane Katrina. In a live on-air interview with ESPN after the South Carolina game, Fournette announced to the nation that he would auction his jersey from the game in order to help flood victims in the state. The jersey auction would receive NCAA approval and go on to raise $101,00, the most ever generated for an auction by an active college student-athlete, according to LSU.
“We are very proud of Leonard and the role he played in raising awareness and generating money to aid the victims of the devastating flooding in South Carolina last fall,” LSU Vice-Chancellor and Director of Athletics Joe Alleva said. “This is a tremendous honor for Leonard and one that is every bit as important as the accolades he’s earned for his performance on the football field.”
Fournette had a tremendous year on the gridiron as well as he set the school’s single-season rushing record with 1,953 yards and a school-record 22 rushing touchdowns. He broke 200 yards in four different games during the Tigers’ 2015 campaign and also earned first team All-America honors. He was a first-team All-SEC selection as well.
“I’m very appreciative and humbled by this award,” Fournette said. “After suffering through Hurricane Katrina as a child and the devastation that it brought to my hometown of New Orleans, I somewhat understood what the people in South Carolina were experiencing. I wanted to do anything that I could to help make a difference and I appreciate LSU, the SEC and the NCAA for allowing me to raise money and awareness by auctioning my game jersey from the South Carolina game.”