NCAA Waives Rule After Crackdown on Trevor Lawrence's Coronavirus Fundraising Ignites Outrage


The NCAA has ruled that Clemson University quarterback Trevor Lawrence can raise funds for people affected by the coronavirus outbreak after the school’s compliance department asked him to stop doing so.

Lawrence and his girlfriend, collegiate soccer player Marissa Mowry, started a GoFundMe page and quickly raised more than $2,600 as of late Monday, The State newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, reported.

The couple planned to donate money raised from the campaign to organizations such as No Kid Hungry and Meals on Wheels, Mowry wrote on Instagram.

Hours later, though, the couple took the page down at the request of compliance officials at Clemson, who told the national championship-winning quarterback that the charitable gesture was noncompliant with NCAA policy.

Knifeman's Rampage Ends with 7 People Dead

Current NCAA bylaws prevent student-athletes from using their name or likeness for crowdfunding, ESPN reported.

Although the NCAA was not directly responsible for the page’s removal, the oft-criticized collegiate sports governing body took a beating online:

The NCAA quickly defended itself on Twitter and announced that it had not ordered Lawrence to take the page down:

Watch: Jets QB Aaron Rodgers Takes Shot at NFL for Pfizer Connection

“The NCAA did not ask Clemson student-athlete Trevor Lawrence to take down his fundraiser for COVID-19 patients and their families,” the NCAA’s statement read. “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 efforts.”

Do you think the NCAA should amend its rules to allow college athletes to raise money for charity without having to risk being noncompliant?

Fox News reported Lawrence thanked the NCAA for granting him a waiver via his Instagram story.

“Shoutout to the NCAA. Thank y’all so much for granting a waiver,” he said on the photo-sharing platform. “They’re allowing us to continue to raise money for what we were doing originally. So we’re gonna take some time and kind of think about how we’re going to restart it back up.

“We’re going to take the night and maybe some of tomorrow or whatever to figure out exactly how we want to do it to be as efficient and to help as many people as possible,” the Christian student-athlete added.

“I just wanted to thank the NCAA, really. Everyone’s made them out to be the bad guy, but it was more so the rules that were already in place. They’ve done a really good job of responding and actually allowing us to do it,” he concluded.

The Clemson University Athletic Department also thanked the NCAA on Twitter for issuing a waiver allowing its athlete to raise money “to help people in a time of need.”

As of late Wednesday morning, the football star’s GoFundMe page has not been reactivated.

It was unclear of Lawrence and his girlfriend planned to reactivate the original page or start another campaign.

One thing is certain: Lawrence’s efforts to help those in need will certainly have more awareness, now that the fundraising drive has made national headlines.

The idea that a well-intentioned student-athlete should have to risk being in violation of NCAA rules during a national emergency is an infraction against common sense.

Trevor Lawrence has showed nothing but class since his debut as a true freshmen in 2018, and this time is no different.

Lawrence, who is projected to be a top pick in the 2021 NFL draft, has previously been open about his faith in Jesus Christ.

“Football is important to me, obviously, but it’s not my life,” the star player told reporters during the 2018 season. “My faith is.”

Rather than listen to critics of his performance on the field, Lawrence said he preferred “putting my identity in what Christ says — who he thinks I am and who I know that he says I am.”

Months later, Lawrence put on a clinic in the 2019 National Championship game, helping the Clemson Tigers route the Alabama Crimson Tide 44-16.

Truth and Accuracy

Submit a Correction →

We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.

, , , , , , ,
Johnathan Jones has worked as a reporter, an editor, and producer in radio, television and digital media.
Johnathan "Kipp" Jones has worked as an editor and producer in radio and television. He is a proud husband and father.