ASU, Cardinals plan to honor former player - East Valley Tribune: Sports

ASU, Cardinals plan to honor former player

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Posted: Monday, April 26, 2004 11:24 am | Updated: 6:11 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

Arizona State University and the Arizona Cardinals have established a scholarship and both organizations will retire the jersey number of former player Pat Tillman.

Additionally, the Cardinals said the plaza around their stadium in Glendale will carry his name.

ASU athletic director Gene Smith said the school has received countless suggestions on honoring Tillman but settled on these two because they are "traditional" ways to recognize special college athletes.

Smith was also mindful of Tillman’s dislike for publicity and respectful of the Tillman family’s grieving in making its decision.

If ASU decides to do something else, "We’ll do what the family thinks is appropriate," Smith said.

Senior defensive lineman Connor Banks will be the last Sun Devil to wear No. 42.

Banks said he chose No. 42 in part because while in high school he followed Tillman’s exploits and admired his accomplishments.

"It’s a great honor to wear No. 42 for the last time," Banks said Friday. "It will motivate me even more to play to the best of my ability knowing he will be watching me."

In the home finale against Washington State on Nov. 13, Tillman’s number will be officially retired and placed alongside Bobby Mulgado (27),

Wilford "Whizzer" White (33), Danny White (11) and Mike Haynes (40).

The Pat Tillman Memorial Scholarship will be awarded to a marketing major in the W.P. Carey School of Business. Tillman graduated from ASU in 3 1 /2 years with a marketing degree. Donations can be made to the Sun Angel Foundation, P.O. Box 873208, Tempe, AZ 85287.

The Cardinals haven’t issued Tillman’s No. 40 since he joined the U.S. Army. The team cited Tillman’s character as one reason for dedicating the Pat Tillman Freedom Plaza.

"Pat exhibited the finest qualities of humanity — loyalty, integrity, and excellence — and we are honored to show our appreciation to this citizensoldier," Cardinal president Bill Bidwill said in a statement.

Other plans also were under way Friday to honor Tillman.

The Tourism and Sports Authority has scheduled a meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday to discuss plans for honoring Tillman. Authority chairman Dick Neuheisel said his organization had previously tried to honor Tillman with a Gene Autry Courage Award, but he always refused.

The Valley of the Sun Chapter of the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame renamed its annual golf tournament the Pat Tillman Scholarship Golf Open. This year’s event will begin at 12:30 p.m. Monday at the Foothills Golf Club in Ahwatukee Foothills.

In addition, a fund has been established at Bank One. Deposits of cash and check, made out to the Pat Tillman Memorial Fund, account No. 1599965140, may be made at any Phoenix-area branch. The funds will be directed to the Tillman family.

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