NCAA waiver for Trevor Lawrence’s coronavirus fundraiser earns praise from all sides

It's not often the NCAA does something that draws universal praise from players, schools and even lawmakers, but that seems to be the case with a fundraising effort started by Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence for people affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

After some initial confusion over whether or not the GoFundMe campaign Lawrence and his girlfriend Marissa Mowry set up violated rules governing a student-athlete's name, image and likeness, the NCAA allowed Clemson to use "university discretion" and allow the fundraiser to proceed. 

"Shout out to the NCAA," Lawrence said Tuesday night via his Instagram Stories. "Everyone's made them out to be the bad guy, but it was more just so the rules that have already been in place. They've done a really good job of responding and actually allowing us to do it. Thank y'all."

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence led the Tigers to the College Football Playoff national championship game in each of his first two seasons. (Photo: Matthew Emmons, USA TODAY Sports)

Clemson added a statement of its own, thanking the NCAA for "waiving restrictions that had been in place," which originally caused one of its compliance officers to advise Lawrence and Mowry to shut the fundraiser down.

We are appreciative of the action taken by the NCAA this evening. pic.twitter.com/rq4zI8PpDR

And one Florida lawmaker who has been especially critical of the NCAA over its restrictions on athletes was complimentary – though in a backhanded fashion.

"I am pleased the NCAA is allowing university discretion relating to collegiate athletes who want to help others at this time of crisis," Rep. Chip LaMarca said in a statement. "With Trevor’s GoFundMe page being reinstated, the world still turned, the sun still rose, and the sky is not falling. Clearly, the NCAA can evolve with the times."

LaMarca, a Republican, sponsored the House version of a bill the Florida legislature passed March 15 that would allow compensation for college athletes off their name, image and likeness. If Gov. Ron DeSantis signs the bill into law, it would go into effect on July 1, 2021.

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