Sept. 12, 2012
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On April 6, 2012, the University of Minnesota and the Golden Gopher football team lost one of its own when Gary Tinsley passed away due to an enlarged heart.
Tinsley was set to graduate on May 10 and his parents accepted his bachelor of science degree in business marketing education, which was awarded posthumously, at the commencement ceremony.
The football team is remembering Tinsley in a number of ways this year. The team is wearing a GT51 patch on its game jerseys and there is a GT51 sticker on each practice helmet. There is also a large mural of Tinsley right inside the team’s locker room doors at the Gibson-Nagurski practice facility. A new award will also be given out each year to a player on the team who best embraced Tinsley’s “underdog” attitude.
However, the best way the school is honoring Tinsley is perhaps the least visible. The Gary Tinsley Memorial Scholarship Fund was recently created and funds will provide undergraduates in the business marketing education program opportunities for financial assistance.
One way funds are being generated for the scholarship fund is through the Minnesota Ultimate Auction. The auction, which is now live, features more than 70 items and is scheduled to end on Sept. 19. Fans wishing to bid on items may visit www.32auctions.com/mnultimateauction.
Items up for bib include autographed memorabilia, merchandise, gift cards, riverboat cruises and golf tee times, as well as many unique fan experiences. For example, fans can bid on a Minnesota football experience that includes tickets to a game, as well as locker room access to hear coach Kill’s pre-game and post-game speeches. Fans will also be able to run out onto the field with the team. Another item up for bid is four premium tickets and pre-game bench seating for a game during the Minnesota Timberwolves’ upcoming season.
There are also many premium luxury experiences that fans can bid on, including a trip to Lincoln, Neb., to watch Minnesota play its first game in Memorial Stadium. The trip includes airfare with the team, accommodations at the team hotel, pre-game sideline passes and tickets to the game.
Fans can also bid on trips to the ESPYs, a Country Music Awards package and a NASCAR Driving Experience.
The entire amount of funds collected from the auction will go to the Gary Tinsley Memorial Scholarship Fund. Fifty percent of the proceeds will be used for students during the 2013 academic year and the additional 50 percent will be used to endow a perpetual scholarship fun in Tinsley’s name.