Where Your Dreams Become Reality
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Poster: College Option Okay
Subject: RE: Is Solomon Haile really 20 years old? Danny Almonte all over again
I needed to check with the NCAA on accepting awards in road races because my HS daughter was winning awards that had significant ($70+) value like shoes, running outfits, gift certificates, and didn't know if she could accept them without losing future NCAA eligibility.
While I haven't read the rules on this, here is what I recall being told by NCAA officials some years ago.
(1) You can't accept any cash awards, no matter how small, without losing NCAA eligibility. Unclear if gift certificates for $XX are considered cash equivalents.
(2) As far as merchandise awards ago, you can accept awards of reasonable value (but "reasonable" was not further defined) but not expensive merchandise like a $500 gold watch.
(3) I never asked about returning an award that my daughter should not have accepted (since she hadn't done that), but I suspect one could return cash awards up to a point, and expensive merchandise awards as well. I'd base that on how the NCAA treated Rupp and the foreign tennis players a few years back.
So it looks like Solomon will be able to compete in college, but will have to give back some prize money he won (probably not that much).
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