FLORENCE, S.C. – Francis Marion University officials have announced the naming of the school’s annual athletics sportsmanship award after Mark Haselden, a Morning News sports reporter and a 1991 Francis Marion graduate.
The announcement comes as the university makes changes to its annual athletic awards ceremony held in April. The ceremony moved to the school’s downtown Performing Arts Center this past year.
"It's a great honor," Haselden said. "As a sports writer, you don't think about having your name put on an award. You think about the people who win those awards. Something like this never crossed my mind. Given what the award represents, I can't think of another one to which I'd rather have my name attached. I'm so grateful to FMU President Dr. Fred Carter, athletics director Murray Hartzler and anyone at FMU who had anything to do with this. I'm truly humbled."
In 2019, the ceremony will include most valuable player awards for the 14 sports in addition to the establishment of 11 new awards. Winners of the new awards will receive “Frankies,” a bust trophy honoring the new FMU mascot, Frank the Fox.
Included among the new awards is the Mark Haselden Sportsmanship Award. Haselden earned a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and French, with a minor in geography. He began working at the Morning News in 1992 and has covered the Patriots for nearly two decades.
“In addition to being a proud alumnus, Mark has been a valued friend of the Francis Marion athletic department,” Hartzler said. “I have come to count Mark as a dear friend outside of the athletic arena, and knowing his many interests and the way he conducts his professional life, there is no one better suited to name this award after.”
Carter called Haselden “the model of what a sports reporter should be.”
“Over the past two decades, Mark’s reporting of Patriot athletics has been both factual and fair, and through this process, we have all come to admire Mark, his work and the way he lives his life,” Carter said. “He is the personification of sportsmanship.”