Football Club looking to raise funds for away games

By Jake Alsko

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The OU Football Club is looking to raise $4,000 to offset its budget for this year. Without the additional funds, the team will be forced to make its trip to play Miami (OH) the day of the game.

If the team doesn’t leave the night before, it will be forced to leave Oakland by 4 or 5 a.m. to make it to the game on time.

“Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial to playing well the day after, and takes traffic delays and getting lost out of the equation the day of the game,” club adviser Nic Bongers said. “The teams that travel more than three hours to play us usually start out stiff after that long bus ride, and we need to be fresh if we are to beat a team of this caliber.” 

Miami (OH) is a conference game for Oakland, with Miami narrowly defeating Oakland at home last year 16-6. 

“Some of the major components to our budget this year are practice fields, travel expenses and referees,” club president David Brosky said. “Last year, we practiced most of the time on one of our players open grass fields that he owned, not even a full football field-long for no cost.”

At the beginning of the year, the club’s fundraiser campaign was also be used toward:

  • Keeping free admission for the club’s home games.
  • Paying for costs of away game food, home game and practice field rentals. The club also might need lodging for an away game at some point this year.
  • Renting out practice facilities, especially late in the fall when lighted fields are needed.
  • Purchasing crucial practice equipment, and membership to football video technology such as HUDL.

“When the support didn’t come, we made due with what we had, and the pressing need is now this hotel stay,” Bongers said. 

The club’s effort to keep its club fees low has also contributed to the current lack of funds. 

“I think the Hockey Club charges over $3,000 per player, where we only charge $500,” Bongers said. “The club is still trying to figure out how to leverage more sponsorships, donations and sell advertising. We’re still new, and money is probably one of the biggest growing pains.”

The campaign was launched March 31, 2014 and has raised $1,660 of the $4,000 so far. 

“We are doing a lot of traveling with a lot of players, and with all the 61-person buses already booked by other college teams, it is nearly impossible to fit everyone on a 56-person charter bus,” Brosky said.

The lack of available buses has the team exploring their travel options, with one being renting out a van for remaining players. 

In its latest game, the Football Club defeated DePaul 50-8 Oct. 4 at home. The team plays next Oct. 11 against U-M Flint.

You can make a donation to the Football Club here.