Jan. 23, 2006
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - The N.C. State Student-Athlete Advisory Committee has unanimously voted to donate $15,000 from their Student-Athlete Opportunity Fund to Southern Miss' Student-Athlete Opportunity Fund to assist student-athletes impacted by Hurricane Katrina.
"The generosity of the N.C. State student-athletes is overwhelming," said Richard Giannini, Southern Miss Director of Athletics. "I give a lot of credit to the N.C. State student-athletes for seeing students from another school in need and unanimously voting to give money that is in place to benefit them. I also want to thank Jon Fagg, N.C. State's Associate Athletics Director for Compliance, for recognizing that our own funds would be quickly depleted helping our student-athletes, and with his support, this generous gift was made."
The Student-Athlete Opportunity Fund is intended to provide direct benefits to student-athletes or their families as determined by conference offices. As a guiding principle, the fund shall be used to assist student-athletes in meeting financial needs that arise in conjunction with participation in intercollegiate athletics, enrollment in an academic curriculum or that recognize academic achievement
"We hated that Southern Miss and its student-athletes had to go through Hurricane Katrina and everything associated with it," Fagg said. "We are excited that our student-athletes voted unanimously to take it upon themselves to reach out and help in the manner in which they did. There wasn't a question about it, they were thrilled to do it. We played Southern Miss on the football field last fall and decided they would be the ones that would benefit from the gift. We are just hoping that this will catch on among more schools."
When Hurricane Katrina hit Hattiesburg, the Gulf Coast and New Orleans last fall, the Southern Miss campuses on the Gulf Coast and in Hattiesburg sustained more than $300 million in damage and more than half of Golden Eagle student-athletes were from the declared disaster areas.
"The most wonderful part about this is that our athletes decided to do it on their own," said Lee Fowler, N.C. State Director of Athletics. "Nobody asked them to do that. Our Student-Athlete Advisory Committee that advises the athletics department decided we ought to do that. Credit it all to the student athletes. It is money they get through the NCAA and they decided to give it to Southern Miss. What better feeling can you have than given something to someone who is in a tough situation? Our student-athletes did that."