When a national television audience gets its first look at the Saint Mary's College men's basketball team on Nov. 14 against Northern Iowa, it might notice something a bit different about the Gaels.
Nearly every Saint Mary's player and coach gathered in the lobby of McKeon Pavilion after practice on Oct. 31 to shave their beards, goatees and other facial hair in support of "Movember," an international effort to boost prostate cancer awareness and raise money.
"It's player driven. It's a great cause," Saint Mary's coach Randy Bennett said. "Everybody starts with a fresh, clean face tonight and for the month of November, we can't shave. You've actually got to grow a moustache, not the full beard."
Saint Mary's players Mitchell Young and Matthew Dellavedova came up with the idea, pitched it to the athletic department and pretty soon even the coaches had signed on to help the cause.
"It's been around for a while. The sports teams in Australia have adopted it," Young said. "We thought it would be great team building if we got into it as a team to try to raise some money."
Fans wishing to join the Gaels in their hair-raising journey can register at movember.com and sign up for the "Saint Mary's Gaels" team. Fans can also donate to the cause and are encouraged to grow moustaches along with the team throughout November.