Clemson Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence was just trying to do something nice for coronavirus victims. He and his girlfriend, Marissa Mowry, set up a GoFundMe geared towards raising money for those who were adversely affected by the disease. Unfortunately, because Lawrence still plays for Clemson, he is governed by NCAA rules.
The association’s rules tend to vary, especially when it comes to what kind of money a student-athlete can or cannot raise or make. Fansided reported the organization shut down the GoFundMe site not long after it was started.
The account was started on Monday and did manage to raise $2,670 before it was closed. The basis for the shutdown was players cannot take earn cash off their name, image, or likeness. Because he was touting the fundraising page, the NCAA apparently felt as though he was doing exactly that.
It’s one of those rules that might actually go away in the next few years. The organization has said that it is starting to look at how players could do this in a fair and balanced way, and studying ways for student-athletes to make money for themselves. Lawrence, however, was looking to raise funds for other people.
While it’s possible he was planning on keeping the money, it seems unlikely since people would have been aware of the funds and of the person who raised them. Instead, the NCAA decided it needed to follow a set of rules that are specifically laid out so that athletes are not able to make a profit based on their public standing.
After Lawrence and Mowry announced the fund had been shut down, there was a public outcry about the perceived heartlessness of the decision. Plenty of entities have seen that the situation the world is in is extraordinary and old guidelines don’t always apply while the coronavirus sweeps across the globe.
On Tuesday afternoon, the NCAA reportedly softened its stance. Pete Thamel posted on Twitter that the organization has reached out to Clemson to try and work out a compromise. He added that the association’s officials are going to leave it up to the individual university to decide whether efforts like the one Lawrence started will be allowed. Thamel also said it was to be made clear this was an understanding of the situation and not a rule that was going to be changing in the long term.
What that decision means is that it would appear Lawrence and Mowry can restart their GoFundMe in the coming days. All of that, however, is contingent on Clemson giving the go-ahead.