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NCAA Grants Waiver for Clemson Football Player

Sept. 11, 2006

INDIANAPOLIS – The NCAA, working in conjunction with the Atlantic Coast Conference and Clemson University, has granted a waiver for student-athlete Ramon McElrathbey to help him care for his younger brother.

The football player is the sole guardian for his younger brother, and Clemson and the ACC sought a waiver from normal NCAA guidelines that prevent student-athletes from receiving gifts, cash or other benefits not available to the general student population.

“Once the NCAA became aware of the circumstances, we immediately began working with the Atlantic Coast Conference and Clemson University to address this unique situation,” said Kevin Lennon, NCAA vice-president of membership services. “NCAA extra benefit rules are designed to ensure student athletes do not receive financial or other benefits that are not readily available to all students. If there is a special circumstance, like this case, the institution and conference may seek a waiver. Despite erroneous media reports, the process worked exactly as designed. We believe this solution is in the best interests of all involved.”

McElrathbey will be allowed to receive assistance from university staff and family related to local transportation and child care for his younger brother. A trust fund may be established to coordinate financial contributions to cover their normal living expenses. “We are very pleased with the decision handed down by the NCAA as it relates to Ramon McElrathbey,” said ACC Commissioner John D. Swofford. “From the beginning we felt this was a unique situation that deserved compassion and special consideration.”

“We are very grateful to the Atlantic Coast Conference and the NCAA for their assistance in this matter,” said Terry Don Phillips, Clemson’s director of athletics. “We had to follow a procedure and the ACC and NCAA were sensitive to the unique situation.

“While there are certain aspects of this waiver that can take effect immediately, like transportation for Fahmarr to school, we are in the process of establishing a trust that will support him in some basic needs. As soon as the trust is established we will release the information.”