OKLAHOMA CITY -- A college basketball player who won $20,000 for hitting a half-court shot at an Oklahoma City Thunder game may have to either forfeit the money or his eligibility to play college sports.
Cameron Rodriguez, a 23-year-old sophomore forward for Winfield, Kan.-based Southwestern College, sank the promotional shot on Nov. 8 during the Thunder's home game against the Denver Nuggets.
Southwestern athletic director Dave Denly says the college's governing body for athletics, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, informed Rodriguez that if he kept the money he would lose his amateur status. The school has appealed, asking if the money can be accepted in the form of a scholarship.
For his part, Rodriguez, of Elk City, Okla., said he never considered taking the money and forfeiting his college athletic career.
"In my eyes, it's just money," said Rodriguez, who receives a partial scholarship that offsets some of the cost of his tuition. "I know I'm a college kid who can use some help, but my love for basketball and my passion for the sport -- it's worth more to me than $20,000."
If he's unable to accept the money in the form of a scholarship, Rodriguez said he hopes the proceeds can be donated to a charity or nonprofit.
I can't stand when people "follow" a rule when the rule wasn't put in place for something like this. I mean, why can't they use their brains and think for themselves?
WTF? It's not like someone paid him because he's a basketball player. He went out on his own and competed in a contest and won? WTF kind of jurisdiction does the NCAA have over that?
So say a player pay $5 to enter his brother's high school raffle and wins a few hundred. He can't keep that?
quote:NAIA school, dude has less than 1% chance of ever making the pros. Take money, leave next semester, transfer to D2 or D3, finish career, and have 20k in pocket
if i still had 3 years of eligibility left, that's worth far more to me than $20k.