The Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association, on behalf of its member institutions, will donate the net proceeds of its winter championship meets and tournaments to agencies working on tsunami relief.
"It is the commitment of the leadership of our Conference, namely our institutional presidents and athletic administrators, that has allowed this program to move forward," said Commissioner David Neilson.
"The tragic events of the December tsunami in Asia are now quietly slipping off the front pages and disappearing from the 6 o'clock news. However, this devastation, and its impact on so many countries, communities, and families will take years to rebuild, and in some cases can never be fully repaired. With this in mind, the MIAA felt it was timely to re-energize charitable efforts, which will certainly be required for a sustained period."
The dollars the MIAA is contributing from its winter championships - men's and women's swimming/diving and men's and women's basketball tournaments - are the only events in which the MIAA generates a profit. MIAA colleges will each be developing activities to support this effort over the coming weeks and during these championship events, according to Neilson.
"The leadership of our MIAA institutions consistently sets high expectations of performance for our student-athletes on the field, and in the classroom. The same standards and expectations are established for volunteerism and service to the community. This program is one more example of that leadership," he said.