Rugby fundraiser participants sign contract to keep it “PG”


Photo by Jared Murphy

Caleb Gretsky, sophomore cinema production major, dances on the catwalk during the annual Rent-a-Rugger event in the Lawrence Hall Ballroom.

Written By Mick Stinelli, Co-News Editor

Last Wednesday, one of Point Park’s most popular fundraisers brought hundreds into the Lawrence Hall Ballroom for the eighth year in a row: Rent-A-Rugger, where members of the rugby club offer themselves – and a date itinerary – up for auction to the highest bidder.

After the money is counted, it’s time to focus on the formalities: a contract, where both bidder and rugger must agree that the date is a platonic event.

“The contract is essentially saying that there won’t be any prostitution on the date,” Caleb Gretsky, a rugby player and member of the club’s executive board said. “It’s very simple.”

Gretsky, a sophomore production major, said the club’s leaders sit the players down to explain the seriousness of representing the club as cordial and professional.

“We’re gentleman, the people who buy you are expecting a polite date, and any actions that you do on your date reflect in this club,” Gretsky said.

“Me and [Rugby Club President] Steve [Reed] drilled it into our guys’ heads that we’re a respectul club,” Logan Platt, the club’s vice president, said. “It’s really just to make sure everything stays PG.”

Platt, a junior public relations and advertising major, said there’s a lot of effort that goes into making sure the perception of the club is positive.

“If we had any doubt that any of our guys wouldn’t uphold that positive perception, we wouldn’t let them participate in Rent-A-Rugger,” Platt said.

Meghan Fitzsimmons, a freshman broadcast reporting major, was a first-time attendee at Rent-A-Rugger.

“They just auction them off, which is weird, because they’re people,” Fitzsimmons observed. She said the event was fun and a good time, and she ended up bidding $35 on her friend.

A first-time renter, Fitzsimmons didn’t know that she was required to sign the contract promising not to have sexual relations with her rugger, and said she wasn’t informed that it was necessary. But knowing there were terms in writing is a good thing, in her opinion.

Realizing that there was such legalese involved was a surprise to Courtney List, the rugby club’s “rugby mom” who volunteers to help the team with fundraisers and events.

“I was shocked in the sense that it’s kind of humorous,” List said of realizing the contract was necessary. She said the stipulations made sense, and ease a lot of the nervous feelings people might have on their dates.

When bidders select a rugger, they don’t just select the athlete but also the prospective date. Gretsky was the night’s most valuable bid, racking up $150 for a night of hot cocoa and ice skating at The Rink at PPG Place.

“I’m still shocked,” Gretsky said Sunday.

At this point, the contracts haven’t been disseminated yet, but Platt assured they would be signed before the dates.

“We follow up with our guys at a meeting level, as well as at a personal level,” Platt said.

The club doesn’t follow up with the bidders out of respect for their privacy, Platt said.

But for Courtney List, there wouldn’t be any follow-up needed, seeing as she bid on a date with Platt for $20.

“I actually have a boyfriend that’s not on the rugby team, so it was very clear that no prostitution will be happening,” List said.