Leonard Fournette, so moved by flooding in South Carolina that he put his jersey up for auction to aid victims, has been honored by the SEC with its 2015-16 Sportmanship Award.
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.
“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,” Fournette said. “I wanted to do anything that I could to help make a difference.”
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.
“I’m very appreciative and humbled by this award,” Fournette said, “... 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.”
The honorees were selected by a vote of the SEC’s 14 Directors of Athletics.
Fournette joins two women’s recipients:
• The Kentucky volleyball team and support staff for their care of LSU senior Cati Leak, who suffered an ankle dislocation during warmups that was originally thought to be a compound fracture.
• Lloydricia Cameron of the Florida track & field team, who pointed out an error in a discus mark she was awarded during a meet.