Alabama AD Greg Byrne: Here's why Foy-ODK hiatus was necessary move
The decision to postpone this year’s basketball halftime ceremony awarding the Foy-ODK Trophy was in keeping with decisions that have canceled or altered numerous other regularly scheduled events, ranging from the football team’s annual banquet to the Heisman Trophy presentation for Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith.
The trophy is traditionally presented to the Alabama-Auburn football game winner at halftime of the next basketball game played between the schools on the home court of the football winner. Alabama defeated Auburn 42-13 in 2020 at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
Alabama Director of Athletics Greg Byrne said Monday that UA was following SEC policy that there would be no on-field or on-court ceremonies at SEC events under current COVID-19 protocols, and that the student government associations at both schools mutually agreed to not hold a virtual ceremony this season.
“This’s year’s focus has been to allow us to move forward both in competing and in allowing fans to attend in accordance with guidelines,” Byrne said. “We are proud we’ve had the seasons we’ve had for our teams, student-athletes and fans. The vast majority of our fans have been tremendously understanding about what we have needed to do in these circumstances.”
What is this trophy?:5 things to know about the Foy-ODK Sportsmanship Trophy
The trophy was established in 1948 following the decision by the Alabama state legislature to recommend renewal of the series after a 41-year hiatus. The schools’ respective circles of Omicron Delta Kappa instituted the trophy to signify a good relationship between the two schools.
In 1978, the trophy was dedicated to retiring Auburn Dean James Foy, an Alabama graduate.
Social media reaction to the decision has been mixed. The ceremony is generally popular, although many basketball fans would prefer the trophy to be awarded at the football game.
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