By now you're aware of the field rushing and subsequent removal of the Vaught-Hemmingway Stadium goal posts following Ole Miss' 23-17 defeat of Alabama on Saturday.
The school was fined $50,000 by the SEC as a multiple offender for the field rushing, and placed the costs of replacing the goal posts at $11,000 apiece, plus an extra three grand for miscellaneous stadium repairs. That put the total party fee at $75,000.
"We will gladly pay for this, but countless fans from Rebel Nation have asked me how they can contribute to offset this expense," said athletics director Ross Bjork. So Ole Miss started Ignite.OleMiss.edu, something of a Kickstarter imitation to collect donations. It's been a rousing success, greater than even the athletics department anticipated. The campaign hoped to raise $75,000 by midnight on October 29; it's nearing $94,000 with three weeks to spare.
The school offered perks as incentives to donate, ranging from a thank you note from Bjork for a $5 donation up to a mountable 6-inch goal post piece for a $1,000 gift. (Our one quibble: Why not offer a mounted piece with Ole Miss branding for a $2,500 donation?)
"In less than 4 hours this afternoon, Rebel Nation stepped up in a big way and we hit our goal! There are still plenty of commemorative posters and desktop backgrounds left, so don't stop sharing the page with friends and family," the department wrote in an update. " Tomorrow afternoon, we'll kick off our new 'I Wear 38' ignite page where 100 powder blue helmets and other items will be available as perks!!!"
All in all, this fundraising drive was executed as flawlessly as Dave Wommack's defense on Saturday. Kickstarter-type campaigns are the future of online fundraising, so it only makes sense to co-opt it into the realm of college athletics.