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Georgia Football Team Wins NCAA Sportsmanship Award

Team recognized for its support of Devon Gales.

NCAA Football: Alabama at Georgia John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The Georgia Bulldogs are one of four recipients of the NCAA’s student-athlete sportsmanship award for 2015-16.

The team was honored for its treatment of Southern University player Devon Gales following a spinal injury he suffered in a game last season.

From the NCAA:

On Sept. 26, 2015, Southern University wide receiver Devon Gales suffered a career-ending spinal injury against the University of Georgia at Sanford Stadium in Athens, Georgia.

When Gales went down, the Georgia football team was the first to respond. At that moment, the color of his jersey didn’t matter. Gales’ safety did. In the months that followed, the Georgia football family stood by his side during his recovery, visiting him in the hospital, voicing support on social media and arranging for Gales’ family to fly in from Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Claude Felton, the senior associate athletics director at Georgia, nominated the Georgia football team, noting the relationship between Gales and the Bulldogs team, built on mutual respect, that continues to flourish nearly a year after the injury.

With college football often the subject of negative headlines, it’s great to see UGA’s team recognized for its response and support of Gales.