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Special Limited Edition Football Includes Handsome Display Case

Only 2,012 will be produced

Mountaineers Entrance Into Big 12

Begins With Baylor Game September 29

Historic Piece of Memorabilia Benefits Local Kids

Goal Is To Raise Wishes for Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Northern West Virginia

Morgantown, WV -- Let the show begin for real.

When the West Virginia University football team enters Mountaineer Field on September 29 to host Baylor, a whole new era in school history becomes official. Welcome to the Big 12 Conference, the first of nine consecutive games that will be played against schools from the Mountaineer’s new conference.

The first Big 12 Conference game for West Virginia will not only be ground-breaking, but also will be an exciting time for local youngsters who depend on the local Make-A-Wish Foundation in the state to generate monies and projects to get wishes granted for many youngsters who have life-threatening medical conditions.

To recognize and celebrate this historic moment in school football history, Rawlings is producing a limited edition, full-sized Big 12 Inaugural Season West Virginia football to welcome the Mountaineers and their fans into a conference that has been symbolic with some of the best football played in America. West Virginia fans will now get a chance to see nationally ranked teams such as Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas State and TCU this season during conference play.

Only 2,012 Big 12 Inaugural Season West Virginia footballs will be produced, and each one comes with a handsome acrylic display case so that fans can proudly show off this historic piece of memorabilia in their home or office. The footballs are priced at $99, and will make an ideal gift idea for the upcoming holiday and Christmas season. Every customer will receive a numbered certificate of authenticity to enhance the value.

Fans can order by calling 1-800-345-2868 or visiting In recent years, Nikco Sports, which is handling the marketing of this limited edition ball, has raised more than $1.8 million for children’s charities, and one such project occurred when West Virginia’s basketball team made it to the Final Four in 2010.

Each football features several white panels with printed historic information about West Virginia football. One panels lists conference crowns and bowl game appearances, all set off around the official school logo. West Virginia has compiled 15 conference titles, including 8 when they played in the Southern Conference and another 7 in the Big East Conference.

A 2nd panel of the football features a color, panoramic photo of Mountaineer Field on a sun-drenched autumn football afternoon. This section of the football really adds to the beauty of the entire product. A 3rd white panel contains the official Big 12 logo, centered between the conference’s 10 teams. In addition to hosting Baylor on September 29, other Big 12 home games this season include Kansas State, Oklahoma and Kansas. Road games in the conference are Texas, Texas Tech, TCU, Oklahoma State and Iowa State.

In its football history dating back to 1891, West Virginia has the 14th most wins among NCAA FBS programs, and during that time has had 79 winning seasons, including 35 seasons with 8 wins or more. That includes the unbeaten season of 1922 (10-0-1) and five 11-win seasons (1988, 1993, 2005, 2006 and 2007). Since 2002, the Mountaineers are 95-33, the best 10-year stretch in school history. During that time, the team has played in 10 bowl games, won 6 Big East titles and has a 3-0 record in BCS bowls. As of 2012, West Virginia is one of only 3 FBS programs to have won at least 9 games in EACH of the past 7 seasons. The Mountaineers 95 wins between 2002-11 ranks 8th among FBS programs.

“The move to the Big 12 has certainly been a topic of many sports conversations in recent months, and I am sure the fans of West Virginia football are excited to play in a conference that has been among the best in the country in recent years,” noted Nikco Sports CEO Craig Bidner, whose company has given back regularly to communities since its inception in 1992. “To build new rivalries with some historic football programs such as Texas and Oklahoma is going to bring added excitement to Morgantown this autumn and for many seasons to come. With all the anticipated excitement building, we’re especially pleased to offer Mountaineer fans an opportunity to own something that is VERY limited, and something that will generate wishes for many deserving youngsters at the local Make-A-Wish Foundation.”

During the past several years, Nikco Sports has raised more than $1.8 million for charitable organizations across the nation with the issue of limited-edition sports memorabilia that has honored amateur and professional teams, as well as select athletes such as Dan Marino, Brett Favre, Jerome Bettis, Tim Tebow, Ben Roethlisberger, along with Peyton Manning, Jim Kelly, Carson Palmer, Steve Young, John Elway, David Robinson, John Stockton, Magic Johnson, Roger Clemens, Ryne Sandberg, Paul Molitor, Kirby Puckett, Stephen Strasburg, Edgar Martinez, Ichiro, Ozzie Smith, Mark McGwire, Ken Griffey Jr., Whitey Herzog, Nolan Ryan, Matt Garza, Tony Gwynn, Craig Biggio and Cal Ripken Jr.

About the Make-A-Wish Foundation

The Make-A-Wish Foundation® grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. Born in 1980 when a group of caring individuals helped a young boy fulfill his dream of becoming a police officer, the Foundation is now the largest wish-granting charity in the world, with 65 chapters in the U.S. and its territories. With the help of generous donors and nearly 25,000 volunteers, the Make-A-Wish Foundation grants more than 12,600 wishes a year and has granted more than 168,000 wishes in the U.S. since inception.


The country cutie that almost made it into the Top 5 on "American Idol" in Season 5 -- she finished sixth -- has cut off all her hair. In fact, Kellie Pickler shaved her head. But it wasn't because she was having some sort of nervous breakdown. She did it with and in support of her best friend, with "Good Morning America" cameras rolling.

Pickler's friend, 36-year-old Summer Holt Miller, was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy in June. Miller was scheduled to begin chemotherapy this week. The "Tough" singer wanted to show some solidarity for her "sister," whom she's known since childhood. She, along with her friend, wanted to try to spread awareness and the importance of early breast cancer diagnosis.