Southeast Missouri is the recipient of the 2012-13 Ohio Valley Conference Team Sportsmanship Award for football, the league announced Friday. The Redhawks won the award for the second time in three years.
Voted on by the student-athletes and coaches of the respective sports, the team awards are bestowed upon the Conference squads deemed to have best exhibited the standards of sportsmanship and ethical behavior as outlined by the OVC and NCAA. Included in the areas for evaluation are the conduct of student-athletes, coaches, staff and administrators and fans.
“Without sportsmanship there are truly no meaningful victories,” said Beth DeBauche, OVC Commissioner. “The recipients of the OVC Team Sportsmanship awards should accept this award with great pride for their fellow competitors have made it clear their teams exemplify the best in intercollegiate athletics. In receiving this prestigious honor other competitors are saying these student-athletes compete with class, respect their opponents and value fair play. That is quite a compliment as those are all traits that will lead to true victories throughout the course of life.”
The 2012-13 school year marks the eighth year the team sportsmanship honors have been awarded. Southeast last won the award in 2010.
The Redhawks finished the 2012 season with a 3-8 overall record and 2-6 mark in the OVC. Southeast had the OVC Defensive Player of the Year (Blake Peiffer) and OVC Freshman of the Year (Scott Lathrop) on its roster this season.
“It is an honor to win this award,” said Southeast Missouri head coach Tony Samuel. “We feel that it is important for our team to approach the game of football with respect. Thank you to those who voted for us.”
Implemented in August 2005, the team honors are the most recent addition to an awards program that recognizes and celebrates sportsmanship within the Conference. In 1998, the league established the Steve Hamilton Sportsmanship Award, presented annually to a male or female student-athlete of junior or senior status who best exemplifies the characteristics of the late Morehead State student-athlete, coach and administrator. Five years later, the Conference added the OVC Sportsmanship Award, presented annually to the member institution selected by its peers to have best exhibited the standards of sportsmanship and ethical behavior as outlined by the OVC and NCAA.
In 1995, the Ohio Valley Conference implemented a first-of-its-kind “Sportsmanship Statement,” a policy promoting principles of fair play, ethical conduct and respect for one’s opponent. The statement answered the challenge of the NCAA Presidents Commission to improve sportsmanship in collegiate athletics, and has become a model for others to follow across the nation.