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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

June 7, 2012 at 4:09 PM

Clarifying Shaq Thompson’s scholarship status

The news yesterday that incoming safety Shaq Thompson had been drafted by the Boston Red Sox led to a number of questions about what happens if he signs.

Turns out one piece of information I passed along was in error — Thompson can sign with the Red Sox and receive money AND still be on scholarship with the Huskies.

One reason I’d thought otherwise is that Jake Locker did indeed become a walk-on after signing with the Angels prior to the 2009 season. But signing to play pro in one sport DOES NOT mean one cannot be on scholarship in another (as a few of you pointed out, now-Seahawk Russell Wilson remained on scholarship at NC State in 2010 after signing with the Rockies. And it turns out Locker simply chose to have the Angels pay for his tuition for his last 18 months or so at UW and become a walk-on).

Thanks to UW sports information for helping me out with this and passing along the applicable sections of the NCAA rule book on this, which are:

Title:12.1.2 – Amateur Status.

An individual loses amateur status and thus shall not be eligible for intercollegiate competition in a particular sport if the individual:

(a) Uses his or her athletics skill (directly or indirectly) for pay in any form in that sport;

(b) Accepts a promise of pay even if such pay is to be received following completion of intercollegiate athletics participation;

(c) Signs a contract or commitment of any kind to play professional athletics, regardless of its legal enforceability or any consideration received, except as permitted in Bylaw 12.2.5.1; (Revised: 4/29/10 effective 8/1/10)

(d) Receives, directly or indirectly, a salary, reimbursement of expenses or any other form of financial assistance from a professional sports organization based on athletics skill or participation, except as permitted by NCAA rules and regulations;

(e) Competes on any professional athletics team per Bylaw 12.02.5, even if no pay or remuneration for expenses was received, except as permitted in Bylaw 12.2.3.2.1; (Revised: 4/25/02 effective 8/1/02, 4/29/10 effective 8/1/10)

(f) After initial full-time collegiate enrollment, enters into a professional draft (see Bylaw 12.2.4); or (Revised: 4/25/02 effective 8/1/02, 4/24/03 effective 8/1/03)

(g) Enters into an agreement with an agent.

AND

Title:12.1.3 – Amateur Status if Professional in Another Sport.

A professional athlete in one sport may represent a member institution in a different sport and may receive institutional financial assistance in the second sport

So obviously a couple of implications here.

For one, this makes it a lot more likely that Thompson will sign, as he indicated he plans to do, since the investment by the Red Sox won’t necessarily have to include paying for his tuition. As was the deal with Locker and the Angels, it sounds like a big reason the Red Sox drafted and will likely sign Thompson is to secure his baseball rights for up to six years.

For another, this means this likely won’t open up another scholarship for UW, since it seems likely he wouldn’t sign for enough to pay for his tuition.

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