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New NCAA Bylaw Allowed USM Suits

Via Kami Mattioli of Sporting News, Southern Mississippi football head coach Todd Monken purchased interview suits for his 17 seniors:

And no, the gifting of suits is not an NCAA violation.

The players have all exhausted their eligiblity [sic] and did not receive the suits until after their last game of the season at the team’s year-end banquet.

Gifts for players who exhaust their eligibility are not generally permitted. Before this year, suits and other clothing were generally purchased using the Student Assistance Fund. But those funds are limited, especially at schools outside of the power conferences or FBS. Interview suits might also be justified as senior participation awards ($200 more allowed than for other student-athletes). This year, the following bylaw opens up these types of purchases:

In addition, an institution, conference or the NCAA may finance other academic support, career counseling or personal development services that support the success of student-athletes.

This allows purchasing items like suits for not just graduating seniors but also any student-athlete, say for internship interviews. Another proposal, RWG–16–7, deregulated travel apparel, which now allows the institution to purchase suits for student-athletes for team travel.

Are you ready for the NEXT STEP!