The NCAA has strict rules about collegiate athletes receiving money from any number of sources, including boosters, agents, and the like. However, sometimes it seems that the rules are just taken a little too far. As Jamar Samuels was preparing for possibly the biggest basketball game of his life as Kansas State took on Syracuse on Saturday night in the NCAA’s March Madness tournament, he was suddenly suspended over a rather trivial amount of money he received just days earlier.
Jamar was running low on funds and couldn’t afford to buy simple necessities, such as, I don’t know, food. So, he had $200 wired to him via Western Union from a friend who heads an organization that Samuels previously played basketball for earlier in life. The transaction was witnessed by someone that reported the incident to Kansas State officials, resulting in his suspension. A senior, Jamar Samuels’ collegiate career ended with him benched when Kansas State lost the game to Syracuse by a wide margin.
You know, if someone had wired him $2,000 or $20,000, or God forbid $200,000, I think we could all see that something was amiss. But two hundred bucks is probably the average weekly grocery bill for an American family, and we don’t know how long Jamar has to live on this money. And, then, there is the fact that it ruined one of the biggest days of his life. Maybe it’s time for the NCAA to take hard look at its rules and find a system that works for everyone, and not just the NCAA.