USC track and field athlete Louis Day has been selected as its 2011 National Student-Athlete Sportsmanship Award winner.
The honor was announced Thursday by the NCAA Committee on Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct.
The NCAA Sportsmanship Awards honor student-athletes and a coach, administrator or athletics staff member who, through their actions in the competitive arena of intercollegiate athletics, have demonstrated one or more of the ideals of sportsmanship, including fairness, civility, honesty, unselfishness, respect and responsibility. Annual selections are made by the NCAA Committee on Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct for the Bob Frederick Award, the National Student-Athlete Sportsmanship Award and the Divisional Student-Athlete Sportsmanship Award.
At this year's Indoor Southeastern Conference Track & Field Championship, Day proved that sportsmanship starts with individual acts of integrity. During one of his throw attempts the officials misread Day's mark and gave two extra meters to his throw.
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Day knew the mark was inaccurate and informed his coach. The coach reported the error to the officials, who agreed with the mistake and removed the extra distance from Day's throw.
Day and his coach, Mike Sergent, had the integrity to inform the officials, thus taking a risk that it would disqualify Day from competing in the finals of the championship. Day showed that his respect for the sport was as important as his ability to win a championship.
The NCAA award comes after Day was selected in June as the recipient of the 4th annual SEC Sportsmanship Award, chosen by a vote of the SEC Directors of Athletics.