Signing Day: Tebow Autographs Fetch $160 Each

In an effort to raised some money for his newly-formed Tim Tebow Foundation, former Gators standout Tim Tebow was back in Jacksonville this weekend in what was billed as his first ever public signing. A porition of the proceeds were going to the foundation. I hope it was a good portion, too. Fans shelled out $75 for a photograph with the NFL prospect. Yes, that’s just for a photograph. You want an autograph? That ran for $160.

Of course, the Florida Times-Union was there to cover the event, and Michael Dirocco was able to grab a quote from Tebow.

Tebow: “It’s an honor to have people want to want you and want to have your autograph and want to be around you,” Tebow said. “That’s special to have an opportunity to sign for people, but it’s more special to be able to do things like we’re doing and being able to really just brighten kids’ days in really their darkest hour of need, which is a lot of what my foundation is about. … I’m just so excited that I have the opportunity to do this and just make a difference in kids’ lives.”

Quote of the Day: “I like to be in the top 10 because I’m afraid the signature gets a little worse as you get to No. 300” -Tebow fan Lupe Reyes, who arrived over six hours before the signing began (Michael Dirocco, Florida Times-Union, 3/7).

Hannah & Friends Farm Opens for First Residents

The organization founded by Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis and wife Maura took a big step yesterday. Hannah & Friends Farm, a residential community for individuals with special needs, welcomed its first residents with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. It was a significant event for the Hannah & Friends Foundation, which started in recognition of the Weis’ daughter Hannah, who has been affected by developmental disorders. (Check out the accompanying video for the background on Hannah & Friends).

“When Hannah and Friends was founded six years ago, a target date of 2015 was envisioned for the opening of the Farm,” explained Weis, chair and founder of the organization. “The incredible generosity of both the Michiana community and the Notre Dame family has been overwhelming, and we feel blessed to be able to welcome four special women to our community.”

While the Farm has been hosting events for over a year, the four women moving into the Peter Schivarelli and Chicago Home will be the first full-time residents of the 40-plus acre property located in Northern Indiana. [Read more…]

Jason Ray Foundation Hosts First Golf Tourney

Jason_Ray 550The Jason Ray Foundation is hosting its first annual Jason Ray Memorial Golf Tournament today in North Carolina.

It’s hard to forget Ray’s story. Ray, who played the lovable “Ramses” masot for the UNC-Chapel Hill, was tragically killed during the team’s stay in New Jersey for their Sweet 16 game at the Meadowlands in 2007. Ray struck and killed outside the team hotel by an automobile as he walked back from a convenience store.

Ray, whose conviction to become an organ donor, would save four lives. Every recipient that received Ray’s primary organs were blessed with better quality of life. His story has reached millions of people for the cause of organ donation. Ray was even the subject of an ESPN E-Ticket, “Ray of Hope,” which delivered Ray’s story so wonderfully.

To honor his memory, the Jason Ray Foundation will endow educational scholarships at UNC-Chapel Hill, training for church and mission leaders, training for scouting leaders, and provide opportunities for not for profit groups that embody Ray’s work during his short life.

“The Punch” Sparks Talk on Sportsmanship

UO Blount Punch 275If you’re sports fan, it was hard to miss the story of “the punch” thrown during the September 3 game between the University of Oregon and Boise State. While the national buzz around the incident has waned recently, the issue is still a hot button in Eugene, Ore. You could say it hits close to home, pun intended.

The Eugene Register-Guard’s Mark Baker tackles the issue in an extensive piece today, noting that Oregon’s LeGarrette Blount’s jab on Boise State’s Byron Haut “seems to have sparked a national conversation about unacceptable behavior among athletes at all levels, and the effect such behavior has on the culture of a sports-crazy nation.”

Eugene-based sports psychologist Steven Ungerleider told Baker, “The good news is, I think this is going to be a major teachable moment, not just for him, but for the university.” [Read more…]

Championship Ring Being Raffled for Charity

2006 Championship Ring 200Want a championship ring? Well, buy a raffle ticket. In an effort to raise money for community projects in Gainesville, Fla., a 2006 BCS National Championship ring is being raffled. The ring was donated by a former member of the University of Florida championship team. And… if your loyalties lie with Florida State or Miami, that doesn’t mean you have to shy away from this raffle.

The on-field rivalry between Flordia’s powerhouse football programs might be among the fiercest in the country. However, off-the-field, these three schools are joined together in a great cause. The Make a Play Foundation, comprised of former Florida, Florida State and Miami football players, is involved in community projects across the state. [Read more…]

Syracuse Sport Management Program Hosts Annual Charity Event, Pink Zone Tops $1.3 Million

Syracuse University

The results are in, the WBCA raked in over $1.3 million during this year’s Pink Zone effort to drive breast cancer awareness and research. But first, Syracuse students take the reins for a successful charity event. Also, a Wildcat get his own signature bottle, and plans announce to remember Bleakley.

Syracuse University: The Syracuse University Sport Management Club held its fourth annual Charity Sports Auction and Jrecks Distinguished Lecture Series last week, with former New York Yankees P and Olympic Gold Medalist Jim Abbot serving as featured speaker. [Read more…]

News Bytes: Catching Up On the Week’s Stories

Florida Gators

College champ Tim Tebow is at the top of this week’s news bytes. Tebow got a little clarification from the NCAA this week. The ’07 Heisman winner gets to continue his evangelism efforts, which is good, because apparently it’s the main reason he’s returning to the Gators next season. After the jump, we’ve got bytes on celebrity voicemails and an interesting rivalry brewing between Purdue and Michigan State.

Tim Tebow: In Palm Beach, Ben Volin reported that the NCAA granted University of Florida QB Tim Tebow “permission to help raise funds for his family’s evangelical operation.”

Tebow’s father runs the Bob Tebow Evangelistic Association as well as Uncle Dick’s Home, an orphanage that is a separate financial entity of the association. Tim Tebow said last week that “the ability to raise funds for his evangelism … is what propelled him to return to Gainesville for one more season.” [Read more…]

Conversation: WBCA’s Smith Discusses the Pink Zone

Hartford vs. Marist

How could you miss an entire week of pink uniforms in women’s college basketball? The increasingly-popular Pink Zone initiative recently wrapped up its third year. The mission is the same: to assist in raising breast cancer awareness on the court, across campuses, in communities and beyond. But the numbers are growing. Results are still trickling in, but the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association expects to set records for total participants and funds raised in 2009.

The passion for this initiative stems from the fact that several coaches have battled breast cancer. Perhaps the most notable of these is Kay Yow, the former N.C. State coach who passed away in January. Yow helped pioneer the Pink Zone, and now it’s her lasting contribution. The WBCA encourages the Pink Zone participants to support the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund.

Progress Avenue recently chatted with Megan Smith, the Manager of New Initiatives for the WBCA, about the Pink Zone:

Progress Avenue: Kay Yow was definitely a popular coach who championed breast cancer awareness and research. How did she help drive interest and participation in the Pink Zone?

Megan Smith: I think when she went through her third bout, a lot of the women’s basketball community at that point really rallied around her. This initiative started in 2007 and had 120 participants, and last year over 1200. So I think that was the big push the second year, rallying behind Coach Yow when she was battling it for the third time. With her passing, probably the biggest thing was more and more schools are donating to the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund.

After her memorial service and seeing that she was such a humble and special person, that inspired so many people across the nation. I think a lot of people felt obligated to help the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund. And the women’s basketball community’s response was incredible. All the schools that were involved really went over and beyond with a lot of their Pink Zone events. It was just really neat to see everything come together. [Read more…]

Izzo Goes to Broadway: Michigan State Coach in a Song & Dance to Benefit Coaches vs. Cancer

Izzo Goes to Broadway

The Detroit Free Press reports that Michigan State University men’s basketball coach Tom Izzo will be “singing and dancing” in “Izzo Goes to Broadway,” a charity event to raise funds for the Coaches vs. Cancer program for the American Cancer Society.

Izzo: “We are stepping outside the box a little bit. I am a Breslin Center guy. I’ve been in that arena for 25 years. And now I get a chance to step across campus to the Wharton Center. It’s exciting to try something different for such a worthy cause.”

The event is set for May 6 at Michigan State (Detroit Free Press, 2/13). Read the entire article from the Detroit Free Press

Photo credit: American Cancer Society

Nike Releases Pink Kay Yow Collection to Help Benefit the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund

Image Name

The Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund, in partnership with The V Foundation, announces the launch of the Nike Kay Yow Collection.

Nike, a founding partner of the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund, has created a special collection of footwear, apparel and equipment to contribute to the Fund while bringing awareness to the fight against cancer.

The Kay Yow Collection is available at The collection is also available at Niketown locations in Chicago, Las Vegas, New York and San Francisco; Dick’s Sporting Goods in North Carolina; Foot Locker House of Hoops locations in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York; and

The collection will commemorate the late Kay Yow during the WBCA Pink Zone and ESPN’s February Frenzy, a special time where fans nationwide will see their favorite collegiate teams sporting limited edition, pink-themed uniforms and footwear.

Tee Time: In addition to being a founding partner of the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund, Nike was the inaugural presenting sponsor of the 4Kay Golf Classic, which was held in September 2008 (WBCA).

Davidson College Selling Shirts at Games to Raise Money for Local Charities

Davidson Wildcats

WCNC-NBC’s Diana Rugg reported that during February, Davidson College “is selling T-shirts to support a handful of charities.”

During Saturday’s game, over 5,000 fans donned black shirts for the 3rd annual Blackout Belk. The $15 shirts support Hammers, “a local charity that uses student volunteers to fix up homes of elderly and disabled residents.”

This coming Saturday, on Valentine’s Day, the school “is selling pink T-shirts and donating ticket sales” from the women’s game to the Kay Yow Foundation supporting breast cancer research. Rugg added that “a whole day of activities for girls is planned around the game,” including a basketball clinic and discounted tickets.

Then on February 21, Davidson is selling white T-shirts “for White Out, the Andrew Lovedale Shoe Drive.” Lovedale, a senior from Nigeria, “brings shoes and other athletic equipment to Nigeria’s poor when he visits each summer.” Fans “who want to donate shoes can also bring new basketball shoes to the game” (Diana Rugg, WCNC-NBC, 2/8). Read Rugg’s entire article from WCNC-NBC

Coach’s Corner: As Colleges Look for Top High School Athletes, is Recruiting Getting Out of Hand?

Positive Coaching Alliance

Each week, Progress Avenue lists articles of interest about youth sports. This week’s articles take a look at the national conversation around recruiting:

College Basketball Recruiting Enters Halls of Middle School (Michelle Kaufman, Miami Herald, 2/3).

College Recruiting’s Thin Gray Line (Evans & Thamel, New York Times, 2/4).

As Colleges Woo Athletes, It Adds Up (Todd Holcomb, Atlanta Journal-Constition, 2/4).

High School Athletes Find College Sports Scholarships Elusive (Gus Ostrom, Cherry Hill Courier Post, 2/3).

Thanks to Doug Abrams for the articles. Abrams is a PCA Champion for Positive Coaching Alliance.