Gators athletics helping support academic programs

Updated: August 16, 2007, 2:16 PM ET
Associated Press

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- The University of Florida Athletic Association, which produced national championships in football and basketball, is donating $6 million to the university to support academic programs jeopardized by state budget cuts.

University of Florida President Bernie Machen announced the gift Wednesday at the annual UF Joint Civic Club luncheon.

Our athletic programs have had tremendous success in the past couple of years. It takes a great academic university to be a top athletic university," Machen said.

The Gator football team won the national championship in January and the basketball team won the national championship for the second year in a row.

The money will be used to help pay for continuation of the Florida Opportunity Scholars program. The scholarship pays for tuition, room and board for qualified students who are the first in their family to attend a four-year university and have family income less than $40,000. The program, in its second year, contributed to gains in minority enrollment over the past year.

Since 1990, the association has given $40 million to the university for its academic programs.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press