The more things change in the world because of the coronavirus pandemic, the more the NCAA stays the same — or at least it seemed that way for a while Tuesday.
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and his girlfriend, Marissa Mowry, a soccer player at Anderson (S.C.) University, had set out to help those who are being affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The couple raised $2,670 through a GoFundMe campaign that was stopped shortly after it began Monday.
Mowry said on her Instagram that she and Lawrence were forced to shut it down because of NCAA rules. Lawrence said in the video that the money raised will go to Meals on Wheels and No Kid Hungry.
According to the NCAA website, “Division I student-athletes may not promote or endorse a commercial product or service, even if they are not paid to participate in the activity.”
The State (Columbia, S.C.) reported Tuesday that Clemson told Lawrence and Mowry they weren’t allowed to have the GoFundMe account because of NCAA rules restricting the use of student-athletes’ names, images and likenesses. The Athletic likewise reported that the university’s compliance office acted to keep Lawrence from being in violation of NCAA rules.
The NCAA does allow exceptions to the rule, however. According to its website, they include “charitable, educational or nonprofit promotions; media activities; national governing body promotions; and camp and congratulatory advertisements.”
After The State published its article — and after many people on Twitter responded angrily to the news — the NCAA told Clemson that Lawrence and Mowry’s fundraiser can continue and announced that it will allow universities discretion in these instances.
The NCAA, in an earlier statement that attempted to clarify what happened, praised Lawrence.
Lawrence and Mowry wanted to help people during the coronavirus crisis. Clemson assumed the NCAA would disapprove. After some initial confusion, it appears the couple’s efforts can continue.