That was a real runner-up trophy that Alabama strength and conditioning coach Scott Cochran smashed in a video that leaked out on Thursday.
The video shows Cochran holding the trophy in one hand and a sledgehammer in the other. He throws the trophy down, and it shatters.
“I’ve never seen a participation trophy before, but we got one last year and it’s been sitting in my office for a year,” Cochran said. “Had to look at it every single day.”
Cochran said head coach Nick Saban OK’d the stunt before he did it. That’s not where the idea came from, though.
“I think one of the players told me ‘Why do you still have that?’ and I said ‘That’s a great question,'” Cochran said. “Had to go do it.”
There’s scarcely any need for the sledgehammer after the trophy was thrown down. It broke into several pieces. A couple of players nearby kicked it after the fact, but the damage was done.
“I wasn’t expecting that,” Cochran said. “I wasn’t expecting it to blow up when it went to the ground.”
The end result was what Cochran wanted. It got the attention of the players.
“I think it definitely gave us a lot of energy in practice,” defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick said. “It did its job.”
Cochran said that was the first time any of Alabama’s current players had seen him smash a trophy, but he’d done it before.
The video, which was originally posted on Snapchat by freshman wide receiver Jerry Jeudy, found its way onto the internet almost immediately.
“It’s amazing how quickly y’all found out about that and how much trouble I got in,” Cochran said. “I appreciate that.”
His punishment was familiar for a strength coach: up-downs, squat jumps and suicide rolls.
Cochran declined to talk about the message he wanted to send by smashing the runner-up award. He said what he wanted in the video.
“They should have beeped out a lot in that one, but you heard what I said. Go watch it. You’ll see,” Cochran said. “It’s pretty bad. Can’t let my kids see it.”