HILTON HEAD, S.C – Francis Marion University was presented with the inaugural Peach Belt Conference Institution of the Year Sportsmanship Award at the conference’s recent annual meeting in Hilton Head.
The award is the culmination of a new season-long program undertaken by the Peach Belt to recognize one team in each of the league’s 12 championship sports, leading to the recognition of Francis Marion as the overall institution displaying the best sportsmanship.
The program presented an award following each championship season to the team in that sport that best exemplified the spirit of sportsmanship and generally conducted themselves with a high degree of integrity, character and class. Each team award was selected by other teams who competed in that sport. Points were awarded based on how each team finished in the voting.
Francis Marion won three team awards in the sports of men’s cross country, men’s soccer, and women’s tennis.
The PBC’s senior woman administrators, who oversee the program, then voted Francis Marion as the overall institution that displayed the best sportsmanship throughout the year.
“This award carries as much, if not more, satisfaction as does the PBC trophies won on the field in athletic competition,” said FMU director of athletics Murray Hartzler. “I am very proud of our student-athletes and our coaching staffs. In addition to athletic honors and classroom honors, this is another indication of how our players truly exemplify the term ‘student-athlete’.”
FMU was presented a banner that will hang during the 2009-10 season, and then will be passed on to the next institutional winner in June 2010. The school also received a crystal award for permanent display.