If you thought the NCAA held a monopoly on stupid eligibility decisions, you were really wrong.
ESPN today told a story to Maori Davenport, one of the best players in high school in the country. She is one of the top 15 prospects for Rutgers and spent last August with USA Basketball, where she helped the US team win a gold medal in Mexico City at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship.
But it was this trip with USA Basketball that cost him.
USA Basketball is allowed to pay its athletes to participate in events like this. Davenport has received a check for $ 857.20, which is a good thing for an 18 year old but that does not change lives, but according to Alabama high school rules, no Athlete is only allowed to receive more than $ 250. USA Basketball generally calls the high school federation of players who participate in their events before sending a check. They did not do it and they did not understand their mistake until November. At that time, they alerted the school at Davenport – Henderson High School in Troy, Alabama – and Davenport returned the money.
But that did not matter for the AHSAA – Alabama High School Athletic Association. Since Davenport initially accepted the money, she was declared ineligible for all of her senior season.
"Since all my years with USA Basketball, it has never happened before," said Craig Miller, a USA Basketball spokesperson who has been working in the country for 29 years. "It was not an intentional mistake.
"The NCAA allows us to pay athletes – who no longer have high school eligibility – a small amount to represent the United States. As a rule of thumb, if there remains an athlete still eligible to go to high school, we will check with his or her athlete association as the rules are different in each state.
"But we did not realize [Davenport] All that remained was eligibility for high school, and that was absolutely our mistake.
<p class = "canvas-atom-canvas-text Mb (1.0em) Mb (0) – sm Mt (0.8em) – sm" type = "text" content = "Let's be clear here: this is not in any of Davenport's eligibility for the NCAA. Leticia Romero received € 29,000 when she helped Spain to win the silver medal at the 2016 Olympics, and she played in 2016-17 without any problems. Katie Ledecky's eligibility for the NCAA is intact after she received six figures for her performance as a swimmer at the same Olympics. This is something that suits the NCAA. "Data-reactid =" 26 "> Let's be clear: this will not affect Davenport's eligibility for the NCAA, as Florida's former guard, Leticia Romero, received € 29,000. when she helped Spain won the silver medal at the 2016 Olympic Games and played without problems in 2016-17 Katie Ledecky's eligibility for the NCAA is intact after she received six figures for her performance as a swimmer at these same Olympics.
This is a problem with the AHSAA law.
Who punishes this girl because she did not know the rules and had confidence in USA Basketball?
Keep in mind what we are talking about here: Davenport has been overpaid for $ 607.20. This is a relatively small amount that has already been refunded to USA Basketball. This was not something that was done intentionally. USA Basketball made a mistake in not calling the AHSAA to make sure everything was fine. The Davenports made a mistake by not checking twice that it was acceptable to accept this money. Everyone recognizes it.
And the AHSAA should recognize that continuing to punish this young woman is also a mistake.
Do the right thing.