KNOXVILLE – One of college football’s most indelible moments from the 2012 season occurred when South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore crumpled to the field with a gruesome knee injury while playing UT on Oct. 27.
The response from both teams has earned the Vols and the Gamecocks the SEC Sportsmanship Award from the 2012-13 academic year.
Despite a closely-contested game that was 21-14 in the second quarter at the point of the injury, both teams stopped all activity while Lattimore was attended to and placed on the cart. Members of both teams also surrounded the top running back as an emotional Lattimore was driven off the field. (Click HERE for video of the response).
Georgia tennis player Maho Kowase was also honored for helping to correct a scoring error that would have gone in her favor in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament. The conference winners will be nominated to the NCAA for its national sportsmanship awards, which will be announced in July.
“Sportsmanship, civility and societal responsibility are things that will lead to victories throughout the course of life,” SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said in a release. “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.”
Former UT basketball player Chris Lofton was one of the initial recipients in 2008, the first year the award was handed out by the SEC.
UT loses 2014 commitment Lawrence Lee: Coach Butch Jones has been adding commitments at a furious rate this spring, but Monday saw the loss of one.
Wide receiver Lawrence Lee, a three-star prospect out of Pensacola, Fla., who originally committed to the Vols in April, announced a change of plans via Twitter.
Officially decommitted from the University of Tennessee, the reason is NOT because of another player. Appreciate everyone.— Lawrence Lee #2⃣ (@ll_dos) June 17, 2013
Despite his comment, the timing does coincide with the commitment of Brandon Powell on Sunday, who is expected to play slot receiver at UT, the same position as Lee.
UT currently has commitments from Powell and junior college prospect Kameel Jackson at receiver. Neiko Creamer, a 6-foot-4, 225-pound athlete, is committed and could play receiver as well. In addition, the Vols are considered at or near the top of the list for four-star receiver recruits Josh Malone, Dominique Booth and Eric Lauderdale.
Daniel Lewis covers Tennessee football for Nooga.com. Follow him on Twitter @DanielNooga