Event to feature Jeff Bostic, Monte Coleman, Wallace Francis, Jay Novacek, and Dante Wesley
Tickets are currently available for the annual “Legends and Legacies – An Evening with NFL Stars,” a gala event is aimed at bringing some of the all-time greatest players to ever play in the National Football League (NFL) to the city of Little Rock while generating proceeds to support scholarships for football student-athletes at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB). The event will be held Thursday, September 22 at the Clinton Presidential Center. Festivities will begin at 6:00 p.m. with a reception and silent auction of NFL memorabilia and continue at 7:15 p.m. with musical entertainment by the famed UAPB Jazz Band and dinner with NFL stars. Tickets are $250/person.
Celebrity NFL guests will include: Jeff Bostic of the Washington Redskins; Wallace Francis of the Atlanta Falcons and Buffalo Bills; Jay Novacek of the Dallas Cowboys and St. Louis/Phoenix Cardinals; Dante Wesley of the Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears, New England Patriots and Detroit Lions; and Monte Coleman, UAPB’s head football coach, who played with the Washington Redskins.
The urgency of raising funds for the UAPB Football Investment and Scholarship Fund is to allow the Golden Lions football team to compete on a level playing field with their rivals. In order to compete against the nation’s major Bowl Subdivision teams that pay game guarantees ranging from $500,000 to as much as $1 million, the NCAA requires FCS programs to award a minimum of 57 scholarships for at least two consecutive seasons. UAPB is nearly 20 scholarships below that minimum.
Once the Football Investment and Scholarship Fund campaign has met its goal of raising $1 million to fund the needed scholarships, the University will not only be able to increase the number of scholarships awarded to its football players, but it will also assist the program in becoming consistent championship contenders in the conference.
UAPB Director of Athletics Lonza Hardy, Jr. says the University and its fans are proud of the past successes of the Golden Lion football program, but he says the program will be positioned for an even higher level of success with increased scholarship funding.
“To be consistent championship contenders, we must field teams whose scholarship budgets are on par with other programs that compete on our level in the NCAA,” Hardy said. “We thank the NFL stars who are reaching out to help us create a level playing field for the Golden Lions. We also thank our University’s administration and staff, as well as our alumni and fans, who are supporting our efforts. Together, we know that our efforts will be successful as we continue to produce champions in the classroom as well as on the football field.”
Tickets can be purchased by calling the Office of Development at (870) 575-8701.