Allegretti family makes donation to Illini football center

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The Allegretti family poses during a recent game. Nick (blue jersey) is on track to earn his master's in accountancy this December. The Allegretti family poses during a recent game. Nick (blue jersey) is on track to earn his master's in accountancy this December.

CHAMPAIGN -- Illinois senior captain Nick Allegretti took his commitment to helping others to a new level this December when he suited up as Santa Claus for a Big Brothers Big Sisters fundraiser on campus.

"I just have a great family," he said when asked why he was donning the suit. "We've always been into giving back ... I learned from my pops, my momma, my brother."

Now this spring after his parents Carl and Tammy Allegretti contributed $250,000 toward the program's new performance center, those comments carry new weight.

"The University of Illinois is a huge part of the Allegretti family," Carl Allegretti said in a school release. "I step back and reflect upon what this school has done for both my boys and what the athletic program has done for Nick, it's just another way for us to give back for the opportunity that was given to us."

Head coach Lovie Smith watched Allegretti stick with the program despite fielding offers to join other, perhaps less-troubled programs. To him, Carl Allegretti's act of generosity further underscored the family's commitment to Smith's vision.

"This gift is incredibly special to me," Smith said in the school release. "When you have a family of a current player make this type of commitment, it helps validate what we're working toward. The Allegrettis believe in Illinois and have shown their support in so many ways, not just to athletics. This gift tells us that they are true partners in creating something really special here at Illinois."

Nick Allegretti earned his bachelor's in accountancy in December of 2017 (with honors) and will receive his master's in accountancy in December of this year.

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