Maryland Withholding Game Ball From LB
The rules regarding amateurism in college sports are getting dumber by the week.
In the wake of several recent controversial NCAA rulings over eligibility (see here and here), Maryland football is taking the most conservative precaution possible - storing a game ball presented to redshirt senior linebacker Marcus Whitfield after beating FIU on Saturday until he graduates to make sure it doesn’t step into the NCAA’s crosshairs. Whitfield had five tackles and 1.5 sacks in the 43-10 win over the Golden Panthers.
While game balls are allowed to be rewarded to players, the NCAA places limits on gifts that athletes can receive. The limit is $425 for seniors like Whitfield. Maryland doesn’t want the football to count against the limit in case it might jeopardize later gifts he could receive.
As a result, the ball is being stored in the football program’s archives - as is policy under head coach Randy Edsall - until Whitfield graduates. The fact that a game ball is even something the Terrapins need to worry about is absolutely ridiculous.
When it comes to the minutiae of NCAA rules, you can’t even make this stuff up anymore.