By: Shanette D. Buford-Brazzell
The holidays came early for some huge college football fans. On Tuesday, December 6th, the UCLA Athletic Department released a press release stating that several donors of the Wooden Athletic Fund made additional donations. The donations were made to ensure the purchase of some 650 student tickets for the Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl, by helping lower the ticket prices from $65 to $25. The donors wish to remain anonymous.
“It’s wonderful that several of our donors have generously come forward to ensure our students have the opportunity to attend the Holiday Bowl,” said Dan Guerrero, UCLA Athletic Director, in a press release on the athletic website.
The generous contributions came after a recent announcement that the UCLA’s Wooden Athletic Fund had set fundraising records in 2012, with contributions from UCLA’s 5000 alumni, fans, and friends. The Wooden Athletic Fund already receives more than $11 million in cash contributions. This is helped by the fact that the 5,000 members each donated at least $100 to the athletic fund this year.
There have been rumors that other universities’ donors, such as those at Notre Dame, Northern Illinois, and Duke, have made similar donations to their respective universities. For example, according an article from Yahoo! Sports, one of Notre Dame’s donors made a $375,000 donation, which caused ticket price to be fall from $300 to $150 for the BCS National Championship Game. In a recent interview, Josh Berlo, Senior Assistant Athletics Director of Guest Relations, Ticketing, and Event Marketing at Notre Dame, told ESPN’s Darren Rovell that their donor wants to remain anonymous as well. On the other hand, Northern Illinois, who will play Florida State in the Orange Bowl, announced that it will give every student a free ticket to the game.
The donations that are received through the athletic fund will go directly to support the needs of all of the UCLA student-athletes in its 24 athletic programs. The financial support that donors contribute provides the student-athletes with resources, that they use in the classroom and community and with which to compete in their respective sports. UCLA will face Baylor on Thursday December 27, 2012 at 6:45pm (PST), in the 35th edition of the Holiday Bowl at the Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, Calif. The Bruins went 9-4 this season and were the Pac-12 Conference South Division Champions.
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