NCAA: Players can not receive game balls
There are thousands of rules in the NCAA rule book, and many of them are useless, pointless or otherwise just dumb. But there's one in particular that came to our attention today, a rule we hadn't heard of before. Chances are, you've broken this rule yourself in your career. If you didn't break it yourself, you certainly have been party to it. Dozens of staffs surely broke it this weekend.
Apparently, you can give a player a game ball, but you can't actually let him keep it. Allowing him to keep the ball would constitute a gift, and the NCAA forbids schools from providing gifts for athletes that aren't otherwise available for students.
From the source article, written by Jeff Barker of the Baltimore Sun:
“'We can’t get the game ball until after we leave school because it’s against NCAA regulations. We have the game ball but it’s in the archives,' Maryland linebacker Marcus Whitfield said.
"A team representative confirmed that Maryland keeps the footballs for the players rather than risk a violation of the NCAA’s extra benefit rules. Student-athletes are not allowed to receive gifts from their schools not available to other students."
I don't know about you, but we weren't aware of this practice when we woke up this morning. We weren't aware until a certain NCAA nemesis brought it to our attention.
Given Bilas' history of pulling the NCAA's pants down in public, here's hoping everyone's favorite former Duke basketball player/ESPN analyst/laywer can bring an ounce of common sense to this corner of the NCAA's insanity as well.