State Colleges

December 10, 2013

It’s good: Southwestern player who made $20K half-court shot at OKC Thunder game gets to keep money

NAIA rules player may keep promotional winnings as scholarship

It wasn’t exactly video review, but a three-week wait confirmed that Cameron Rodriguez’s half-court shot was good — really good.

Rodriguez, a 23-year-old sophomore on Southwestern College’s basketball team, will get to keep the $20,000 he won for making a half-court shot during an Oklahoma City Thunder game Nov. 18 — as a partial scholarship.

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics had to decide whether Rodriguez would lose his amateur status by accepting the prize. Southwestern appealed to the NAIA, asking that the money be turned into the form of a scholarship — roughly more than half of a year’s tuition to the Winfield college.

Rodriguez had said he wouldn’t take the money and lose his eligibility, but now won’t have to.

“We are very pleased with the decision the NAIA has made, and we appreciate their willingness take this case into consideration,” Southwestern athletic director Dave Denly said in a statement. “We are excited for Cameron to be able to maintain his eligibility while accepting his winnings in the form of a scholarship, and we thank all parties involved for their patience and support during this process.”

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