DALLAS (FWAA) – Oklahoma defensive tackle Carl Pendleton
is this week's nominee for the FedEx Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage
Award to be announced at the end of the 2006 season.
Pendleton, a junior and a three-year starter, has decided to
forgo his senior year of eligibility - but not to turn pro. Instead,
Pendleton, who will graduate in December, will continue his education
and focus on caring for his 10-year-old brother, Kierstan. He became
Kierstan's legal guardian recently while their parents sort through
a difficult divorce.
Pendleton, who carries a 3.86 grade-point average in sociology
with a minor in religious studies, will pursue a graduate degree.
In October, he was awarded an $18,000 postgraduate scholarship from
the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.
"With the responsibility of raising my younger brother, I realize
football is not the best choice for me," Pendleton said. "Football
was a way for me to get my education."
Pendleton, a regular speaker at Fellowship of Christian Athletes
functions, teaches Sunday school each week at a Norman church. This
month, he is taking over responsibility for the church's ministry
to fifth- and sixth-graders.
For the first time, the FWAA and the FedEx 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 FedEx Orange Bowl-FWAA Courage Award will be announced in
December and be presented with the trophy.
Courage Award was created by ESPN The Magazine's senior writer Gene
Wojciechowski, also a 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
Previous winners of the FWAA's Courage Award are the Tulane football
team (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, 329-member,
all-volunteer organization that exists as a self-sustaining, independent
organization supporting and producing activities and events which
enhance the image, economy, and culture of South Florida . Among
the OBC core events are the Orange Bowl Festival, FedEx Orange Bowl
and World-Class Halftime Show, the MetroPCS Orange Bowl Basketball
Classic, the WaMu Orange Bowl Fan Fest presented by the City of
Miami, the Budweiser Orange Bowl Tailgate Party, Boston Market Orange
Bowl Youth Football Championships, Orange Bowl Cheer & Dance Championships,
Orange Bowl Swim Classic, Orange Bowl International Tennis Championships
and Orange Bowl Sailing Regatta Series.
The Football Writers Association of America, a non-profit
organization founded in 1941, consists of more than 900 men and
women across North America 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 game day operations,
major awards, a national poll and its annual All-America team.
2006 Orange Bowl Courage Award Nominees
• Sept. 20: Ray Ray McElrathbey, Clemson
• Sept. 27: Martel Van Zant, Oklahoma State
• Oct. 4: Terry Hoeppner, Indiana
• Oct. 11: Dan Howell, Washington
• Oct. 18: Eddie Martin, Navy
• Oct. 25: Bill Doba, Washington State
• Nov. 1: Jerry Kill, Southern Illinois
• Nov. 8: Carl Pendleton, Oklahoma
• Nov. 15: Mike Tepper, California
• Nov. 29: Carlos Garcia, Oregon State