AP Photo/Mike Strasinger


If Middle Tennessee and Arkansas State didn’t have a good student turnout for the Camellia Bowl, it wasn’t for lack of trying.

Middle Tennessee coach Rick Stockstill donated $10,000 to cover tickets for more than 300 students. Montgomery is only about a four-hour drive from Murfreesboro. Students had a good excuse for not showing up to the Blue Raiders’ last two postseason games, the Hawaii Bowl and Bahamas Bowl.

Stockstill said students couldn’t make it financially and the dates of the games were too close to Christmas.

“It was tough for them, so I just wanted to do something to show my appreciation for what they do, coming to our ball games at home,” he said. “Going to bowl games is a great honor and reward for players and coaches but it’s also a reward for students.”

Arkansas State coach Blake Anderson and athletic director Terry Mohajir each purchased 1,000 tickets for students.

“We didn’t want any students to have to pay for tickets,” Anderson said. Asked how many took them up on their offer, he said: “Hopefully a bunch.”