Scholarship Honoring Doc Knight, Nub Sanders Designated for Ole Miss Student Athletics Trainers, Managers
OXFORD, Miss. - Future students at the University of Mississippi deemed "unsung heroes of athletics" are to benefit from a new scholarship that honors Ole Miss athletics legends Wesley I. "Doc" Knight and Billy "Nub" Sanders.
The endowment of nearly $48,000 is earmarked to provide scholarships for student trainers and managers who follow in the footsteps of Knight and Sanders as contributors to the success of Ole Miss athletics teams.
Clay Cavett, associate director of UM Alumni Affairs, said the purpose of the Doc Knight/Nub Sanders Memorial Scholarship Endowment is to provide assistance to students who devote much of their college career to working behind the scenes with Ole Miss athletes.
"The student managers are there before the team arrives for practice, they work through practice and are still working long after the players leave," Cavett said. "The same is true for the trainers who keep the players taped up and healthy. These students are unsung heroes who help their teams immeasurably."
Both Knight and Sanders greatly influenced the UM athletics program, and the two are to be commemorated during halftime of the Nov. 4 football game in Vaught-Hemingway Stadium between Ole Miss and Northwestern State University. Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m.
Knight, who was inducted into the UM Athletics Hall of Fame in 1988, served as a trainer for 28 Rebel football teams. His quiet, behind-the-scenes handling of Ole Miss athletes made him one of the most loved athletics officials in the university's history. He received the National Athletic Trainers' Association's highest honor in 1969 when he was inducted into the Helms Athletic Foundation Trainers Hall of Fame. During his tenure, he served terms as president of the Southeastern Conference Trainers Association and the NATA District Trainers Association.
The university's athletics field house adjoining Vaught-Hemingway Stadium is named in his honor and is part of the Michael S. Starnes Athletic Training Center. As a civil engineering student at Rhode Island State College (now University of Rhode Island), Knight competed in track for three seasons and was team captain in 1932.
"The Knight family would like to express our deepest appreciation for the members of the Ole Miss M-Club who have shown their reverence for Doc and for Nub by making possible the creation of this special Doc Knight/Nub Sanders Memorial Scholarship Endowment as a tribute to their lives as members of the Ole Miss family," said David Knight, Doc Knight's son. "We thank very much everyone for their contributions which will provide financial aid to students who wish to attend the University of Mississippi to pursue careers as athletic trainers or managers."
Sanders served the Rebel football team as equipment manager from 1951 to 1973. Also inducted into the UM Athletics Hall of Fame in 1988, Sanders is remembered as a dedicated and capable staff member. He was the first paid athletics equipment manager at Ole Miss. Born in Oxford, he graduated from University High School, Northwest Mississippi Junior College and Ole Miss. He served as student athletics equipment manager at all three institutions. During his tenure, the Ole Miss football team won a share of three national championships, five SEC championships and participated in 18 bowl games.
Aileen Sanders Johnson, daughter of Nub Sanders, said her father would be more than pleased.
"Daddy was the most loyal alumnus I have ever known," she said. "He loved Ole Miss with all his heart, and this is the culmination of his life being recognized by people he adored. It is wonderful for the university family to embrace him in this way, and with this honor to say 'Nub, we love you.'"
Contributions to the scholarship fund can be sent to the University of Mississippi Foundation/Doc Knight/Nub Sanders Memorial Scholarship, P.O. Box 249, University, MS 38677. For more information about the UM Foundation, call 662-915-5944, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.umf.olemiss.edu/home.
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