Bragging Rights: Mason Sophomore ‘Throws for Dough’ to Capture $123,000 Scholarship

Posted: March 10, 2010 at 1:02 am, Last Updated: March 10, 2010 at 9:14 am

By Rashad Mulla

Carley Rodick. Creative Services photo

With six siblings, sophomore Carley Rodick didn’t know if she would be able to afford to attend Mason this semester. Now, she is set for the rest of her college career.

Rodick received a $123,000 scholarship from the Dr Pepper soft drink company after traveling to Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, and winning the “Throw for Scholarship Dough” contest during halftime of the Texas-Nebraska Big 12 college football championship on Dec. 5, 2009.

Setting up from the five-yard line, Rodick and another student competing for the scholarship attempted to throw footballs through an oversized Dr Pepper can set up on the goal line.

“When they blew the whistle, we just went at it,” Rodick says. “I was only paying attention to what I was doing. I thought, ‘Man, I did really bad compared to practice yesterday.’”

But she won the competition, and the ensuing scholarship, after admittedly not expecting to win anything.

In fact, after initially signing up to enter the contest, Rodick had forgotten all about it. Then a Dr Pepper representative called her a few weeks later to inform her that she had captured a spot in the Dec. 5 competition.

“When they called me, I didn’t know who they were. I thought it was a scam,” Rodick says. “I was sort of hesitant to call them back, but they e-mailed me, too.”

Responding to the call landed her the trip to Texas, the opportunity to compete in the football-throwing contest and the eventual scholarship.

Back at Mason, Elizabeth Carter of the Office of Student Financial Aid said she had never seen anything like this in her 10-plus years at the school.

“I was just absolutely overwhelmed when that check came through,” Carter says. “It couldn’t have happened to a nicer or more deserving student.”

A nursing major, Rodick would like to eventually earn a master’s degree. After she graduates, she hopes to work in a hospital emergency room or maternity ward.

Write to gazette at gazette@gmu.edu