January 06, 2015 | Updated: January 29, 2019

By Marti Bishop

Twenty-five SOTX athletes, including members of Special Olympics Team USA Women's’ Basketball, and their chaperones from the Greater Dallas area had a wonderful time at the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic on New Year’s Day.

Many had never been to a college game, much less a playoff game, and had not been to AT&T Stadium.  It was an amazing experience for them to enjoy with their friends.  They braved the cold and misty rain to relax and enjoy the game in a warm and comfortable, covered stadium, as they watched the Michigan State Spartans polish off an exhilarating, 42-41, come-from-behind victory over the Baylor Bears.

Coach Hoover said all the athletes on their row of six athletes and two adults had a really great time.  Her son had never been to a game like this, but really enjoyed the whole day and the whole experience with his teammates. 

Coach Randy Ford who was on a row with five athletes and three adults commented by saying, “It was a great experience for the athletes and some parents to attend an event that they might otherwise not be able to go to. Allison enjoyed being with her friends, eating the food and seeing a great finish! During halftime, many of the athletes congregated in the concourse area and had fun visiting. I appreciate the Big12 and the Cotton Bowl for reaching out to the Special Olympics community. It was an amazing day, lots of smiles and fond memories.”

Coach Marti Bishop shared similar sentiments. 

“Our girls very much appreciated this invitation by the Big 12 that also included other athlete friends from the Richardson Roadrunners Delegation.  Everyone on their row of 16, including my husband and son, had a super day watching a live playoff game the sights and sounds, the food and having fun with friends!”

The athletes and chaperones who attended the Cotton Bowl want to give a “BIG THANK YOU” to the Big 12 for providing the tickets and making this outstanding experience possible!