Fund established to assist Emporia State recruit who lost home in fire

August 8, 2012

The Emporia State Athletic Department, in cooperation with the Emporia branch of ESB Financial, has set up an account for people to help Hornet football recruit Justin Wilson whose family lost its home in one of the Oklahoma wildfires last week.

The Wilsons were one of several families who lost their homes during the wildfire that devastated Luther, Okla. last week. The fire quickly engulfed their home, and they were able to escape with just the clothes on their backs.

"As soon as we found out about Justin's situation as an institution we wanted to help him transition into football training camp," said Emporia State Senior Associate Athletic Director Carmen Leeds. "However the NCAA has guidelines and restrictions on what we can give a student-athlete. We worked with NCAA to get a legislation relief waiver so we could provide basic necessities for him such as toiletries, some clothing, sheets and towels."

After granting the waiver, the NCAA allows Emporia State to supply the bare necessities, but Wilson will still need funds for everyday living before insurance is able to kick in.

"We've had a huge response from some of our players’ parents and other members of the community that would like to help as well," said Leeds. "With the NCAA's OK, we have set up a fund to help out beyond those basic necessities."

Donations can be sent to the Justin Wilson Fund, ESB Financial, 801 Merchant St., Emporia KS 66801. Checks should be made out to the Justin Wilson Fund.

Wilson was The Daily Oklahoman's Little All-City Defensive Player of the Year in Oklahoma City as a senior. He had 65 tackles, 11 tackles for loss and six sacks.  The 6-0, 330 pound defensive lineman also played tight end and was the kicker for Luther High School. In addition to football, he was the Oklahoma State Champion in power lifting. He is expected to play this season for the Hornets along the defensive line.

The Hornets reported for training camp on Wednesday, Aug. 8; however, Wilson has stayed in Oklahoma to help his family. He is expected to report on Friday, Aug. 10. Emporia State will hold its annual football Media Day on Sunday, Aug. 12 at 5:15 p.m. at Welch Stadium on the ESU campus.

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