June 19, 2014
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.- Mizzou Football has been recognized by the Southeastern Conference as a recipient of the seventh annual SEC Sportsmanship Award. The league additionally honored Tennessee men's basketball, Georgia equestrian and the women's golf coaches of the SEC with the award.
The Tigers' award comes after their outstanding 2013 season, prior to which unanimous All-American defensive Michael Sam shared with his Mizzou teammates and coaches his sexual orientation. The program supported his decision, whether to publicly announce or not, and respected his privacy.
Sam chose to focus on football and limit distractions for his teammates. He went onward into a senior season filled with on-field accolades, including SEC Defensive Player of the Year from the Associated Press.
The four SEC groups were chosen by a vote of the league's Directors of Athletics. Mizzou and the Tennessee men's basketball team tied for the male award, while the Bulldog equestrian team and the women's golf coaches of the conference tied for the female honor.
"Sportsmanship, civility and social responsibility are marks of character that last a lifetime," said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive. "We are proud of these teams from Missouri, Tennessee and Georgia and the women's golf coaches of the SEC for setting an example for us all."
Head coach Gary Pinkel will lead Mizzou into its 2014 season-opener and start of its home schedule at Faurot Field against South Dakota State at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 30. The game will be televised nationally on ESPNU.
The full SEC release is located here.
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