The NCAA has just opened up an investigation on Bryce Brown (and 'other players') regarding money that was raised so that they could go to football camps. At the heart of the investigation is the question of Brown's eligibity for college sports as an amateur - specifically his eligibility for football as a football amateur.
By NCAA rules, you cannot compete in a sport at an NCAA member institution if you have been paid to play in that sport. (Roughly speaking.) The idea behind the rule is partly to keep colleges from bringing in ringers and partly to further justify not paying players. (If it was allowable for paid athletes to play college sports, the NCAA would have a very difficult time not allowing the athletes to get paid for their services in college.)
Without knowing any details, the issues I see here are:
- Whether camp attendance was considered 'playing the sport' in the NCAA sense of the term.
- Whether the fundraising for the attendance constituted a payment.
- Whether any attempt was made to conceal the payments - especially out of a fear of NCAA interest.
If Brown is clear on those points, there really can't be any worries. I will be very interested to see if they term a football camp 'playing a sport' because that's a broad application of the term
The final detail is that UT is in no way connected with the investigation. Currently, Brown is still eligible and can still practice with the team. That alone gives me hope that this is a routine matter and the NCAA is simply clearing the books, but we'll see.
Oh, and did anybody else immediately think "Brian Butler"?