The NAIA ruled Tuesday that a 23-year-old basketball player at Southwestern College can keep the $20,000 prize he earned after hitting a halfcourt shot at an Oklahoma City Thunder game on Nov. 18.
Cameron Rodriguez was the fourth of five people to sink a halfcourt shot at a Thunder game since February, but because he is a student-athlete, it was unclear whether the NAIA would allow him to keep the prize money. Rodriguez and his school proposed that he be able to use the money toward his tuition, a solution the NAIA’s National Eligibility Committee (NEC) ultimately accepted.
"We're pleased with the decision from the membership and specifically the NEC that allows Cameron to keep his winnings to use towards his education,” Jim Carr, NAIA President and CEO, said in a statement. “We feel the NAIA is the student-centered association in collegiate athletics, and this decision by our membership reflects that emphasis."
This decision makes sense, especially since Rodriguez was randomly selected. It's not like he knowingly entered a contest in which he would use his basketball skills, rather he was given the opportunity and he came through. The fact that the money will go toward his tuition makes the decision even more respectable.
(H/T to For The Win)
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