The Lopers are known for winning the RMAC All-Sport Award 16 out of 19 seasons, but with the new move to the MIAA (Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletic Association), a push for more scholarship money is crucial.
The RMAC conference allows its schools to hold 26 full-ride scholarships, while the MIAA allows 36. This number is staggering because the Lopers currently hold the lowest amount of scholarships in the RMAC with an undisclosed amount (well under the limit).
With a combination of top-notch coaching and some of the best athletes in the region, the Lopers have continually had winning seasons.
“The push to get more scholarships available for UNK Athletes does not have the goal of maxing out MIAA limitations, because that’s just unrealistic right now, but we do want to have enough available scholarships that is conducive to competing in the new conference,” said Shawn Fairbanks, the assistant athletic director of marketing. However, the move to the MIAA was accompanied with a state agreement that there will be no additional funding provided by the state of Nebraska; thus, a need for more fundraisers.
Last year, the Inaugural Blue/Gold Rush for Scholarships was a huge success in raising over $25,000. This year is already looking to top last year and increase scholarships across Loper athletics.
Junior Rustin Dring knows more scholarship money is needed. “God knows we need the money here (UNK). Even without the full amount of scholarships, we still manage to win against schools like Chadron and UNO who have more money than they know what to do with. It’s really a tribute to our athletes and especially coaches to do so much with little funding. Once we build up our scholarships, across the board, we’ll be unstoppable.”
This year’s top prizes include a hotel in Florida with two tickets to a Florida Gator football game and a Jaguars or Buccaneers game with $500 in spending cash. There are also home entertainment packages, concert/Husker tickets, 200 pounds of beef and dozens of other door prizes. All prizes were donated from major local sponsors, including Builders Warehouse, Holiday Inn, Russell’s Appliance, Great Lakes Airlines, and the NU Foundation.
To Purchase Tickets:
Ticket prices are one for $25, three for $60 or six for $100. Order forms are available through the UNK athletic office; 865-8330.
The drawing will be held Feb. 15 at 5 p.m. in the Holiday Inn Convention Center. The event is free and open to the public, and light hors d'oeuvres will be served. Prize winners do not have to be present to win.
The event will also be streamed live at www.lopers.com.