Arizona Athletics Launches 5980 Fund For Student-Athlete Support

TUCSON, Ariz. – Beginning in Fall of 2022, University of Arizona student-athletes will be eligible for up to $5,980 in supplemental academic aid through the athletic department's newly established "5980 Fund". Arizona Athletics will commit financial resources to the fund as part of its ongoing Commitment to an Athletes Total Success (CATS) program after the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in the Alston vs. NCAA case. Eligibility is based on good academic performance, meeting all NCAA eligibility requirements and embracing Arizona's Wildcat Way core values.

"This new academic benefit for our student-athletes is the latest addition to our ongoing commitment to our mission to develop academic, athletic and life champions," said Vice President and Director of Athletics Dave Heeke. "Arizona Athletics continues to lead from the front in supporting Wildcats with our championship standard for our student-athlete experience. The establishment of our "5980 Fund" raises our standard by providing additional resources for Wildcat student-athletes' academic performance."

The Supreme Court's ruling paved the way for institutions to provide student-athletes with additional education-related benefits and direct financial support in the form of academic achievement, up to the legally established maximum of $5,980 per year.

The "5980 Fund" is the most recent of initiatives launched by the athletics department to bolster its first-class experience for all student-athletes in response to the everchanging landscape of college athletics. The Wildcat Club, the athletics department's development unit, is fundraising for the "5980 Fund", and you can give to the Wildcat Club by clicking here.

Arizona launched its Arizona EDGE program in 2021 as its in-house platform for Name, Image and Likeness that partnered directly with INFLCR. The partnership helped Arizona become the first school in the Pac-12 Conference to launch its own portal, the Arizona EDGE Marketplace, with INFLCR that connects the business community directly with student-athletes on brand-focused activities, provided they are within legal protocols and follow the University of Arizona NIL protocols and are approved in advance by the Arizona Compliance department.

In addition to the Friends of Wilbur & Wilma collective and the Arizona Assist Club, opportunities for supporting external NIL initiatives for Arizona student-athletes now also include the BPS Foundation, which is a non-profit 501© (3) organization formed by Blueprint Sports to educate, encourage and assist student-athletes in their efforts to engage with the local community through charitable causes. For more information about the BPS Foundation, please click here.

"Arizona Athletics continues to support initiatives that impact all student-athletes and enhance the experience of the outstanding women and men who represent the University of Arizona in competition, the classroom and Southern Arizona community," Heeke said. "Our athletics department's Wildcat Way mission and strategic initiatives are deeply rooted in this flagship institution and the tremendous community that supports our student-athletes."