2 SIU students win free tuition at men’s basketball game

SIUC students Brianna Claypool, an aviation flight and management major in the School of...
SIUC students Brianna Claypool, an aviation flight and management major in the School of Aviation from Cary, Illinois, and Cole Rushing, a junior accounting and finance major in the College of Business and Analytics from Goreville, Illinois, won free tuition for the spring semester.(Southern Illinois University Carbondale)
Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 1:00 PM CST
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CARBONDALE, Ill. (KFVS) - Two Southern Illinois University students won free tuition at the men’s basketball game on January 14.

According to a release from SIU, the two students are Brianna Claypool, an aviation flight and management major in the School of Aviation from Cary, Illinois, and Cole Rushing, a junior accounting and finance major in the College of Business and Analytics from Goreville, Illinois.

They each won one semester of free tuition on Saturday night. That’s when the Salukis beat Illinois State 69-57 at the Banterra Center.

“I was incredibly excited and grateful when I realized that I had won the free tuition,” Claypool, who was attending her first Saluki game, said in the release. “This is a huge blessing and it doesn’t seem real.”

Brianna Claypool, center, a freshman from Cary, Illinois, won free tuition for the spring...
Brianna Claypool, center, a freshman from Cary, Illinois, won free tuition for the spring semester. She is with, from left, SIU Athletics Director Tim Leonard and SIU Dawg Pound President Dylan Chambers.(Southern Illinois University Carbondale)

According to the university, Rushing, who is a sprinter on the Saluki men’s track team, has attended many SIU events through the years. He came to SIU in fall 2021 and is academically a junior while as an athlete he is classified as a sophomore.

“I am thankful for receiving this scholarship and proud to be a Saluki,” Rushing, whose parents, Michele and Theron, and sister, Sydnee, are all SIU alumni, said in the release.

Cole Rushing, right, a junior from Goreville, Illinois, with his mother, Michele, who is a...
Cole Rushing, right, a junior from Goreville, Illinois, with his mother, Michele, who is a three-degree SIU alumna, won free tuition for the semester.(Southern Illinois University Carbondale)

The drawing for free tuition was organized by the Dawg Pound, a registered student organization that supports Saluki athletics.

The Jan. 14 drawing was open to the entire student body.

Another drawing open to all students is set for Feb. 4 when the Saluki women’s basketball team hosts Missouri Valley Conference foe Valparaiso in a “Maroon Out” game for fans.

The goal is for that game is to have 1,000 students attend, said Dawg Pound President Dylan Chambers, a sports administration major from Metropolis, Illinois.