Updated June 4, 2012
WALNUT CREEK, Calif.-- Bryson Beirne, a senior quarterback on Arizona’s football team, and Brittany Hart, a junior on the Oregon acrobatics and tumbling team, have been named recipients for the 2012 Pac-12 Sportsmanship Award, Commissioner Larry Scott announced.
Beirne, from Honolulu, Hawaii, injured his knee early in the 2011 football season and had to decide whether to sit out a year or play with the injury. He sacrificed the opportunity to sit out the season and played on the injured knee, which allowed fellow quarterback Matt Scott to utilize a redshirt year. In Arizona’s final Pac-12 game of the season at rival Arizona State, Beirne was called on when starting quarterback Nick Foles went down with an injury late in the fourth quarter. Trailing 27-24, Beirne connected on his only pass attempt - a 23-yard touchdown pass that put the Wildcats in front for a 31-27 Territorial Cup victory.
He earned his degree in family studies and human development and is currently enrolled in the University of Arizona’s MBA program.
In another resilient performance by a Pac-12 student-athlete, Hart, a native of Hillsboro, Ore., tore her ACL in a tumbling routine in a home meet against Baylor, but continued to complete the two minute and 30 second routine. She then aided her teammates as she helped form foundations and tossed teammates in various acrobatic skills during the remainder of the competition. By continuing to compete while injured, she helped the Ducks defeat Baylor and earn the No. 2 seed entering the National Collegiate Acrobatic and Tumbling Association Championships. The Ducks went on to capture 2012 NCATA national championship.
Hart, a sociology major, just completed her junior season.
The Sportsmanship Award is selected by members of the Pac-12 Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC) and is based on good sportsmanship and ethical behavior in participation of intercollegiate athletics, as well as a demonstration of good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting. Nominees must have demonstrated the values of respect and integrity through a specific action, ideally directed toward an opponent. The student-athlete must have consistently demonstrated the values of respect and integrity in his or her daily participation in intercollegiate athletics.
Conference award winners are then nominated for the NCAA Division I Sportsmanship Award.
Also nominated for this year’s Pac-12 Sportsmanship Award were Kim Stubbe, Arizona; Haley Parsons, Arizona State; Stephen Estes, Arizona State; Women’s Swimming and Diving, California; Mark Asper, Oregon; Ruby Engreitz, Washington.