Jaedyn Rucker Uses NIL Money To Fly Aaron Lowe’s Mother Out For Red Rocks’ Senior Night
Mar 4, 2023, 12:03 AM | Updated: 9:07 pm
SALT LAKE CITY – Utah gymnast Jaedyn Rucker used her NIL money to fly Aaron Lowe’s mother, Donna, out to celebrate the Red Rocks’ Senior Night.
Lowe was tragically killed at a house party in 2021 after a Utah football game. Many of the Red Rocks’ outgoing senior class were close with Lowe, making it a particularly devastating for their student-athletes.
Because of how much Lowe’s death affected them nearly two years ago, the Utah gymnastics seniors opted to honor what he meant to them with leotards featuring his number (22) as well as a tribute video and of course including his mother in the festivities.
View this post on Instagram
Using NIL For Good
Utah gymnastics head coach Tom Farden revealed after the meet that Rucker used the NIL money she earned to bring Donna to Salt Lake for Senior Day so she could see how much they all loved her son. Farden noted how proud he was of his team for their leotard design to honor the fallen football player, and Rucker for her selfless act in sharing the special day with Aaron’s mother.
“The seniors get to design a leotard, so they designed that leotard,” Farden said. “I thought the design was really elegant, it was very nice and they did a good job of designing that. That class was close- they were close with that situation and if I can be honest with you guys and transparent- Jaedyn used her own NIL money to fly [Donna] here. I got a little choked up, told her how proud I am of her. It meant that much to Jaedyn and I’m just so proud of her.”
— Michelle Bodkin (@BodkinKSLsports) March 4, 2023
Farden continued on about how so many negative narratives have been shared about NIL, but with his team, he’s only seen the positive. Last year, Grace McCallum donated a massage chair to the team with her NIL earnings and the Red Rocks are active contributors to the Salt Lake community with their NIL collective, Who Rocks The House as well.
“NIL- everybody thinks it’s the monster,” Farden said. “But it’s not necessarily the monster if it’s used positively. You see what Grace did? She bought a, I don’t know, thousands of dollars massage chair and donated it to the program. Then you see stuff like this, what Jaedyn did, uses her NIL money to do that? It’s infectious. Those kids who want to give back and do purposeful and meaningful things with their funds? It’s pretty cool. That impact on our program? That’s going to resonate for years.”
Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @BodkinKSLsports
Utah Utes Scoreboard
Utah Utes Team Leaders
Utah Utes Standings