Thanksgiving is a great time to share your blessings. One way you can do that is by making a donation to people who are suffering from a stroke of bad luck. A crowdfunding campaign can swiftly change the fortunes of the recipients and help them get back on their feet.
Unfortunately, NCAA rules on crowdfunding can be confusing. The guidelines state specific situations when a student-athlete can start or participate in a crowdfunding campaign. The rules have been scrutinized by the media as they allow a Stephen F. Austin (SFA) player to receive crowdfunded donations. On the other hand, suspended Memphis star James Wiseman won’t be allowed to accept the money.
This left many fans scratching their heads. How come one crowdfunded campaign was given the green light while the other was blocked when both are for charitable purposes?
SFA scored one of the biggest upsets in more than a decade as the Lumberjacks handed Duke its first loss of the season. The heart-stopping game saw the two teams trade one huge bucket after another in the final two minutes of regulation. As a result, Duke missed their chance to ice the game in the final possession of the second half which sent the game to overtime.
It was a neck and neck battle in the extra time period. Duke had a chance to come away with the win. But the Lumberjacks forced a crucial turnover with five ticks left on the clock. This gave Nathan Bain enough time to outrun everyone and score the game winner.
Fans across the country were quick to show their appreciation to the SFA forward. The two-month-old GoFundMe page for Bain’s family suddenly received a surge of donations. The SFA athletic department put up the crowdfunding campaign to help Bain’s family, which resides in the Bahamas. They were hit hard by Hurricane Dorian in September.
According to the NCAA’s rules on crowdfunding,
A college or university may use crowdfunding in conjunction with its institutional fundraising efforts if the rules of the institutional, charitable, education or nonprofit promotions regulations are satisfied.
Apparently, this charitable effort satisfies NCAA’s rules. While James Wiseman’s case does not.
The Memphis star was suspended for 12 games for breaking rules on recruiting inducements. According to reports, Wiseman accepted $11,500 from Memphis coach Penny Hardaway for relocation purposes. The NCAA also required Wiseman to donate $11,500 to charity.
Fans set up Crowdfunding campaigns on the internet to help the potential number one pick pay the fine. Unfortunately, the NCAA won’t allow Wiseman to accept the donation. As per TMZ, the donation must come out of the pocket of Wiseman and his family .
The NCAA’s rulings in these situations do not inspire clarity considering that the crowdfunding campaigns are both for charitable purposes. In Nathan Bain’s case, it will help his family rebuild after suffering from the devastation of Hurricane Dorian. Meanwhile, James Wiseman’s fine will ultimately benefit a charitable organization.
What’s even more absurd is that Wiseman is not allowed to receive money from others even in the form of a loan. How do they expect the player to pay his $11,500 fine? Without the help of the public, Wiseman and his family might suffer for years to settle the fine. How is this different from Nathan Bain’s family misfortunes?
Sure, rules are rules but it would be great though if they made sense.