Cody Martin dunks the ball

Cody Martin dunks the ball in an exhibition game against Washington Sunday, Oct. 21, at Lawlor Events Center.

The University of Nevada athletic department has started a crowdfunding campaign called “We Are Nevada,” which was announced in a press release Thursday. This will be one of the first endeavors by the Wolf Pack Athletic Association, the fundraising branch of Nevada Athletics.

The initiative involves raising money for sports programs and the Pack Excellence Fund, which provides resources for student-athletes like scholarships, academic support, sports medicine and more. The campaign’s target goal is to reach $1.73 million, and it will be open for donations until Dec. 31, 2020.  

The looming budget deficit is one of the reasons for this fundraising venture, since normal operations cannot proceed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The hope is that the Wolf Pack community can come together and donate in support of its student-athletes. 

The press release documented the monetary loss Nevada Athletics is projected to face due to the lack of ticket sales: $8 million. The deficit overall for the athletic department during the 2020-2021 year may be more than $10 million. 

Athletic director Doug Knuth was quoted in the press release, saying, “These are certainly challenging times, however, all challenges present opportunity. Now, more than ever, we need all those who care about Wolf Pack athletics and our student-athletes to show their support. Through the We Are Nevada campaign we can weather this storm and come out the other side stronger than ever.”

The athletic department has also taken on a COVID-19 testing protocol to protect its student-athletes, coaches and other staff during the pandemic and in anticipation of the postponed fall season and regularly-scheduled winter season.