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Navy Tribute Wins Sportsmanship Award 11/23/2009

Ohio State will be recognized by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics for its September 5th Armed Forces tribute during its 2009 season opener against the U.S. Naval Academy.  The University’s Department of Athletics will be honored at the 2009 AT&T National Sportsmanship Awards at the Chase Park Plaza in St. Louis on November 21st.

“We are extremely proud of the great work our student led Sportsmanship Council has done,” said Ohio State associate vice president and director of athletics, Gene Smith. ”Buckeye fans continue to demonstrate great sportsmanship at home and on the road. We are grateful for this honorable award.”

Mike Penner, assistant athletics director for event management at Ohio State, will receive the honor on behalf of the department of athletics.  Penner helped direct the athletics staff in paying tribute to all branches of the U.S. Armed Forces. The department also will be acknowledged for its efforts leading up to the Navy game in helping to spread the message of sportsmanship and welcome the Midshipmen into Ohio Stadium.

When Navy came out of the tunnel, an opening day record crowd of 105,092 gave a standing ovation.  Then both teams lined up in the south endzone and each Buckeye shook hands with each Midshipmen.  As Coach Tressel progressed through the line, he looked every Midshipmen in the eyes and thanked them with genuine respect.  Then, in a rare, beautiful moment, the teams rushed the field together at the same time to raucous applause.

Before kickoff, a special, armed-forces-themed flyover wowed the crowd.  The Fighting Bengals of VMFA (AW) 224 stationed out of MCAS Beaufort in Beaufort, South Carolina, kicked things off in style.  During the break after the first quarter the Ohio National Guard was honored in the south endzone to, of course, a standing ovation.

At halftime, The Best Damn Band in the Land gave a tribute performance to the U.S. Naval Academy.  The Navy Fanfare was first, followed by Stars and Stripes Forever, the Navy Hymn, and finally, Anchors Away.  In a rare halftime edition of Script Ohio, former Ohio senator and U.S. Navy pilot John Glenn dotted the “I” with the OSU alumni band.

The rest here.

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