Bart Scott, who plays as a linebacker for the New York Jets, has decided to turn his new “Can’t Wait” clothing line into a profitable venture—and he will be giving the profits away, to a very worthy recipient.
The profits for “Can’t Wait” will be given the the “LeGrand Believe Fund,” a non-profit fund whose proceeds will cover the medical costs and daily care for Eric LeGrand, who was a linebacker for the Rutgers University football team. In a 2010 game, LeGrand collided with a player from the opposing Army team during the flurry after the kickoff. Now, LeGrand is paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair. Although his official prognosis states that he will never recover the use of his lower half, LeGrand has pledged to walk again. He has felt muscle twitches, which makes him optimistic. He is able to continue attending classes at Rutgers.
LeGrand has received help from other big names in professional sports, including Devin Harris, former point guard for the New Jersey Nets, and several of his teammates, and David Tyree, who once played for the Giants as a wide receiver. He has a wide array of medical and other needs, ranging from customizing his home to accommodate his wheelchair to therapy designed to help him keep his muscles in shape and potentially recuperate some sensation and mobility.
The unusual thing is, Bart Scott and LeGrand have never met each other, but perhaps it is the shared linebacker position that sparked the interest. Few linebackers can say they have never been on the receiving end of a bad hit. The college athlete’s injury has also set off interest in reexamining how kickoffs are performed in college football. Greg Schiano, Rutgers’ coach, proposes punting the football on the 30-yard marker in the opening kickoff and for beginning the second half. Mark Richt, Georgia’s head coach, is in agreement with Schiano.
The “Can’t Wait” line sprang from Scott’s spontaneous response to a journalist’s query regarding Scott’s thoughts on facing the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC championships in 2010; he exclaimed, “Can’t wait!” and the phrase gained a life of its own, going viral almost immediately. Scott chose to trademark the phrase and use it as the theme for his new clothing line. An initial run of 1,200 shirts would be distributed, with the phrase featured in a trio of diverse designs. All profits will go to LeGrand’s fund.
“I’ve never met him but I heard he’s a great kid,” Scott told reporters. “He has a lot of concerns and needs right now. All the proceeds from the first run will go to LeGrand to help him. I want to do something for him, to help him. I hope we’ll sell out the shirts quickly so we can get the money to him, because things are expensive with his care, and I know there are money needs. For instance, he needs to refit the doors at his house for his wheelchair.”
Bart Scott hopes that his help and the publicity the “Can’t Wait” clothing line will bring attention to LeGrand’s condition, and he is grateful to be part of the young man’s recovery.
“I want to be able to see him lead his team on the field someday,” Scott commented. “That’s something I’m looking forward to and I just hope to help him get there.”