THIBODAUX — Nicholls State University is celebrating its 10th year of hosting Super Bowl champions Peyton and Eli Manning and some of the nation’s top football talent during the Manning Passing Academy, from Thursday, July 10, through Sunday, July 13.
Now in its 19th overall year, the four-day Manning Passing Academy employs top professional and collegiate coaches and players as counselors, and has attracted more than 9,000 young athletes and 1,100 football mentors to campus during its time at Nicholls. This year’s camp will draw more than 1,200 high school players from around the nation. Campers are accompanied by family members who stay in Thibodaux and patronize local businesses, resulting in an annual economic impact of $1.8 million, according to the South Louisiana Economic Council.
“What is most rewarding is the economic impact that the Manning Passing Academy has on our entire community,” said Nicholls Athletic Director Rob Bernardi. “Universities have an obligation to assist with the economic development of their region, and this camp demonstrates our commitment to that end. For our campus and our community, the Manning Passing Academy has become more than a sports camp — it’s an annual event.”
Hosting the powerhouse football program has also brought improvements to the Nicholls campus. In 2007, the university installed a new AstroTurf field donated by turf company General Sports Venue and former New Orleans Saints quarterback Archie Manning.
The university also received $1.2 million in state funding to make drainage improvements to the campus’ practice fields used by Manning Passing Academy campers. Work on the three-month improvement project is due to begin after the camp wraps up this summer.
In addition, proceeds from the annual Iberia Bank Air-It-Out and Papa John’s Quarterback Challenge benefit Nicholls’ athletics program. This year’s event is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 12 in John L. Guidry Stadium at Nicholls. Tickets for the Air-It-Out competition are available at the Nicholls athletics website, geauxcolonels.com, for $12 until midnight on Friday, July 11, and for $15 afterward.
For more information on the Manning Passing Academy, visit manningpassingacademy.com.