Student-athlete date auction brings libido to gymnasium

by Beacon Staff • December 10, 2008

The Piano Row Gymnasium was center stage for athletes to show off their non-athletic skills on Nov. 8. Soccer standouts serenaded the crowd, basketball players broke out some serious dance moves-athletes did their best to show their suave and charm.

The Student-Athlete Date Auction was planned and conducted by Emerson's Student Athlete Advisory Committee in order to raise funds and garner interest for the school's athletics program.

The event raised over $600 with more than 150 people in attendance, according to the SAAC's official Web site.

The bidding generally ranged anywhere from the minimum wager of five dollars to around $30. Senior Lauren Vassallo, who serves as president of the SAAC, said the bids were very generous and that she did not expect people to spend as much as they did.

Senior men's basketball player Anthony Remias, a SAAC member and one of the masters of ceremonies of the auction, said the committee did not have a monetary goal going in but that they were pleased with the outcome.

In one case, two students made several back-and-forth offers for freshman women's soccer player Carmen Trobaugh. Much to the audiences' approval, these bidders were soon trumped by a sizable bid of $100 by Trobaugh's boyfriend, Emerson sophomore Greg Sands.

"I was wondering if it was going to work out," said Sands, "Carmen is a great girl and I wanted to make sure that I won."

Other students were impressed by the highest bid of the evening.

"That was pretty cool," said junior volleyball player Erin Connolly, who also was auctioned off at the event. "I was jealous!"

Vassallo said she got the idea from a past date auction held by Student Life, and thought it would be a good fundraiser for the SAAC.

Each varsity sport at Emerson had the opportunity to enter three or four of their players as volunteers to be auctioned off before the student body in attendance. Winning bidders received the rights to a date with their prized athlete. Each of the dates is paid for by the gift certificates that were donated to the SAAC. Each date has no set or mandatory length.

A number of local establishments donated the gift certificates to be used on the dates. Starbucks, the Boston Aquarium, AMC Theaters and others provided passes and gift certificates.

Vassallo called the night a success and said she hopes it will continue in future years.

"I really wanted to get the entire student body involved with this so they can see that athletics at Emerson aren't a myth," Vassallo said. "I'm happy with the turnout and the profit and I look forward to seeing if next year's committee will continue to put on this auction."