DALLAS (FWAA) – Auburn safety Zac Etheridge and
Ole Miss running back Rodney Scott are the first weekly nominees
for the 2010 Discover Orange Bowl/FWAA Courage Award, to
be announced at the end of the season.
a senior from Troy, Ala., has returned to football after he was
temporarily paralyzed while making a tackle in 2009. Scott, a sophomore
from Cross City, Fla., is being recognized for his action – or inaction
– in helping prevent further injury to Etheridge.
During the teams' game last October, Etheridge tackled Scott.
When both players remained motionless, it became apparent something
was wrong. Etheridge had suffered a neck injury. Scott, sensing
Etheridge was seriously injured, did not move.
"If I had moved, he could have been paralyzed," Scott told reporters.
"It was one of the most amazing things I've seen," Auburn coach
Gene Chizik said. "I've got to give (Scott) a lot of credit. I don't
know how he knew, but he just knew he couldn't move. He sat as still
as the night, laying right underneath (Etheridge). It was one of
the most phenomenal things I've witnessed."
Etheridge's spine wasn't structurally damaged. He suffered torn
ligaments and a cracked fifth vertebra and had to wear an invasive
neck brace for three months.
Etheridge earned his degree in public administration last December.
He did not participate in spring practice, but was cleared to play
just before the season. He ranks second on the team in tackles.
Scott has played in a reserve role for the Rebels. The players have
spoken on the phone several times since the accident.
"I take my hat off to Rodney Scott," Etheridge said a few days
after the accident. "If he would have moved, I wouldn't be here
For the fifth straight year, the Football Writers Association
of America and the Discover Orange Bowl will announce
a weekly nominee for the Discover Orange Bowl/FWAA Courage Award
each Wednesday during the season. A blue-ribbon panel will determine
the award's recipient from those weekly nominees. The recipient
of the Courage Award will be announced in December and presented
with the trophy in conjunction with this year's Discover Orange
The Courage Award was created by ESPN The Magazine's senior writer
Gene Wojciechowski, also an FWAA member. A select group of FWAA
members vote on the recipient each year. The requirements for nomination
include displaying courage on or off the field, including overcoming
an injury or physical handicap, preventing a disaster or living
Previous winners of the FWAA's Courage Award are the Connecticut
Huskies (2009), Tulsa's Wilson Holloway (2008), Navy's Zerbin Singleton
(2007), Clemson's Ray Ray McElrathbey (2006), the Tulane Green Wave
(2005), Memphis' Haracio Colen (2004), San Jose State's Neil Parry
(2003) and Toledo's William Bratton (2002).
The Orange Bowl Committee is a not-for-profit, 343-member,
primarily-volunteer organization. It is a self-sustaining, independent
organization that supports and produces activities and events that
enhance the image, economy and culture of South Florida. The Orange
Bowl Festival features a year-round schedule of events culminating
with the Discover Orange Bowl on January 3, 2011. Other OBC core
events include the MetroPCS Orange Bowl Basketball Classic, Orange
Bowl Youth Football Alliance presented by Sports Authority, Orange
Bowl International Tennis Championships and Orange Bowl Sailing
Regatta Series. For more information on the 2010-11 Orange Bowl
Festival and its events, including promotional and volunteer opportunities
through the Ambassador Program, visit www.orangebowl.org.
The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit organization
founded in 1941, consists of more than 1,200 men and women who cover college football
for a living. The membership includes journalists, broadcasters and publicists,
as well as key executives in all the areas that involve the game. The FWAA works
to govern areas that include gameday operations, major awards and its annual All-America
team. For more information about the FWAA and its award programs, contact Steve
Richardson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 972-713-6198.
2010 Discover Orange Bowl Courage Award Nominees
• Sept. 29: Zac Etheridge, Auburn and Rodney Scott,
• Oct. 6: Jon Hoese, Minnesota
• Oct. 13: Marquez Herrod, Colorado
• Oct. 20: Matt Anderson, North Dakota State
• Oct. 27: Jamie Hampton, Troy
• Nov. 3: Ricky Dobbs, Navy
• Nov. 17: Andrew, Colter and Paul Phillips
• Nov. 24: Mississippi State Bulldogs
• Dec. 1: Eric LeGrand, Rutgers