Organizations team up to discourage drunk driving

On a Saturday night in July of 2012, a drunk driver swerved into oncoming traffic and collided with a car carrying Southwest Minnesota State men’s head basketball coach Brad Bigler, his wife, his wife’s grandmother and his 5-month-old son, Drake. Drake was killed in the crash. The driver of the other car had two prior drunk driving arrests in 2000 and 2005.

In honor of Drake Bigler and to encourage students and fans to not drink and drive, Brad and Heather Bigler, the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, the NCAA and the TEAM Coalition are bringing the “It’s a Slam Dunk – Don’t Drive Drunk” campaign to NSIC basketball schools.

The program engaged Student Athlete Advisory Committees (SAAC) in creating short (30 to 60 second) videos to underscore the theme of the campaign. Students from each school submitted as many video entries as they desired. Those videos were judged on overall impact, creativity, memorable content and delivery, and clear message. Winning entries from each school were seen at halftime of conference basketball games the weekend of Feb. 1-2 and will be seen again during halftime of this weekend’s games.

The University of Mary’s video was named the most outstanding of the entries and will be recognized during halftime at the NSIC basketball tournament championship games.

To help further awareness this weekend, each NSIC SAAC group will have a booth at their arena to have people in attendance sign a pledge card stating they will not drink and drive. Each person that signs the pledge card will receive a blue bracelet with an inscription of the campaign’s slogan, the NSIC and NCAA logos and Drake Bigler’s name on it.

TEAM Coalition is an alliance of professional and collegiate sports, entertainment facilities, concessionaires, stadium service providers, the beer industry, distillers, broadcasters, governmental traffic safety experts, and others working together to promote responsible drinking and positive fan behavior at sports and entertainment facilities.