We want to make sure our readers are perfectly clear regarding a situation involving Clemson and Trevor Lawrence that surfaced earlier Tuesday.
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence and his girlfriend, Anderson University soccer player Marissa Mowry, started a GoFundMe page attempting to raise money for people affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The pair had planned on donating any money — it was near $3,000 on Monday — to Meals on Wheels and No Kid Hungry.
Tuesday, however, a report surfaced that the NCAA had forced the page to be shuttered. The Association’s bylaws prevent student-athletes from using their name, image and likeness for crowd-funding campaigns.
However, it was subsequently reported that it was Clemson’s compliance department, not the NCAA, that “asked [Lawrence] to take it down.” Of course, Clemson’s compliance department triggered the shuttering based on the NCAA’s archaic bylaws, which will be changed sooner rather than later.
Important context regarding the Trevor Lawrence situation: Clemson did not hear directly from the NCAA. It was the school's compliance department that asked him to take it down in keeping with NCAA rules. @TheAthleticCFB
— Grace Raynor (@gmraynor) March 24, 2020
If the under-fire NCAA wanted to engender some goodwill and positive headlines, though, they should issue a directive allowing student-athletes to use their popularity to do something positive for a country that’s hurting and reeling economically. It appears, in fact, that may be the exact direction in which the NCAA will head on this issue.
“The NCAA did not ask Trevor Lawrence to take down his fundraiser for COVID-19 patients and their families,” The Association said in a statement. “We continue to work with member schools so they have the flexibility to ensure that student-athletes and communities impacted by this illness are supported, and we applaud Trevor for his effort.”
Whether that means one of the 2020 Heisman Trophy front-runners will be permitted to reopen the fundraising page remains to be seen.
For his part, Lawrence, via social media, thanked all of those who did donate to what was a truncated (for now) drive.
“Thank you guys, all of y’all that donated. It’s really much appreciated. It’s going to help some kids and some elderly [people] somewhere, so it’s going to be very helpful. So we really appreciate y’all. Sorry for all of the drama and all of the confusion but we got it worked out.”