"This is something that we not only want to do, we need to do," Pruett said Thursday from his office at Marshall Stadium. "Nate was a role model, he was an inspiration, and a local hero. He had a long fight with leukemia. He'll never be forgotten, and we want to symbolize his loyalty and leadership through a scholarship."
Ruffin, an avid supporter of all things Marshall, was one of few who weren't on the team plane that tragic night in November of 1970. He battled with leukemia long enough to see the 30th anniversary of the plane crash in November, 2000, and the premiere of Ashes to Glory, the documentary on the Marshall football program and its fall to the depths of tragedy and rise to football success in the 1990s. Ruffin was 51.
"He'll never be forgotten," Pruett added.
The scholarship, to be endowed through the Big Green Scholarship Foundation, has a target amount of $50,000. Donations to the scholarship endowment can be directed either to the Big Green Foundation, the Marshall Black Legends program, or through the Marshall Football offices. Contacts for more information are: Ralph May of the Big Green at (304) 696-4661; and Edna Justice in the Marshall Football offices at (304) 696-6464.