Football Writers Association of America Oct. 3, 2012
For Immediate Release
Contact: Noah Sharfman
305-341-4737
.pdf version
Shooting victim remains in school, with team
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ARIZONA STATE'S RICHARDSON NOMINATED FOR
DISCOVER ORANGE BOWL-FWAA COURAGE AWARD

DALLAS (FWAA) Arizona State's Angelo Richardson is the weekly nominee for the 2012 Discover Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award, to be announced at the end of the season. Richardson, a junior from Oakland, Calif., is enrolled in school six years after a shooting left him paralyzed from the waist down.

After a spectacular junior-college career at Santa Rosa Junior College, Richardson signed a letter of intent to play for the Sun Devils in 2006. His arrival was highly anticipated. "He was one of those players who immediately jumped out at you," former Arizona State coach Dirk Koetter told the Oakland Tribune. "He could run by everybody. He had size, speed, toughness and elusiveness."

But a few weeks later, early on March 4, 2006, Richardson was shot twice once in the chest, and then in the back. His spinal cord was not penetrated, but it was damaged by what doctors called shock-wave destruction. Richardson was with friends in San Francisco and was not involved in the dispute that prompted the shooting.

"You can't live in the what-if phase," Richardson told the Arizona Republic. "What if is not actually reality. This is who I am now, and I have to go forward and progress."

The Sun Devils honored Richardson's scholarship, even though he was signed two coaching staffs ago. He is majoring in justice. He is a regular at practices and games, watching from his wheelchair. Richardson trained for the Tempe heat, doing workouts of as long as three miles in the wheelchair.

"I can't commend this university enough, because in actuality they don't have to do what they're doing for me," Richardson told the Arizona Republic. "I never played one snap here. They stood by their word 100 percent. This new staff treats me as family. Everyone has welcomed me with open arms."

Richardson, now 27, retains hope of walking again one day. He says he draws inspiration from his daughter, Angelia, who was born a few months after he was paralyzed.

"He's a great example of incredible spirit and attitude," Arizona State coach Todd Graham told the Oakland Tribune. "... (He's) an example of how you respond to adversity. He's a big part of what we're doing."

For the seventh straight year, the Football Writers Association of America and the Discover Orange Bowl will announce a weekly nominee each Wednesday during the season. A blue-ribbon panel will determine the winner from all of the nominees. The winner of the Discover Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award will be announced in December and be presented with the trophy during the week of the 2013 Discover BCS National Championship Game.

The Courage Award was created by ESPN The Magazine's senior writer Gene Wojciechowski, also an FWAA member. A select group of writers from the FWAA vote on the winner 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 through hardship.

Previous winners of the FWAA's Courage Award are Michigan State offensive lineman Arthur Ray Jr. (2011), Rutgers defensive tackle Eric LeGrand (2010), the University of Connecticut football team (2009), Tulsa's Wilson Holloway (2008), Navy's Zerbin Singleton (2007), Clemson's Ray Ray McElrathbey (2006), the Tulane football team (2005), Memphis' Haracio Colen (2004), San Jose State's Neil Parry (2003) and Toledo's William Bratton (2002).

About the Orange Bowl
The Orange Bowl is a 348-member, primarily-volunteer non-profit sports organization that promotes and serves the South Florida community. The Orange Bowl Festival features a year-round schedule of events culminating with the Discover Orange Bowl on January 1, 2013 and the Discover BCS National Championship on January 7, 2013. Other Orange Bowl core events include the MetroPCS Orange Bowl Basketball Classic, Orange Bowl Youth Football Alliance presented by Sports Authority, Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships, Orange Bowl Sailing Regatta Series and Orange Bowl Paddle Championships. For more information on the 2012-13 Orange Bowl Festival and its events, including promotional and volunteer opportunities through the Ambassador Program, log on to 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 tiger@fwaa.com or 972-713-6198.

2012 Discover Orange Bowl Courage Award Nominees
Sept. 26: Daniel Rodriguez, Clemson
Oct. 3: Angelo Richardson, Arizona State
Oct. 10: Patience Beard, Arkansas
Oct. 17: Neiron Ball, Florida
Oct. 31: Dan Werner, Mississippi
Nov. 8: Jay Prosch, Auburn
Nov. 15: Austin Woods, Oklahoma