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Gabe Ikard is “Compliant Official” with His Girlfriend

Jimmy Traina of Fox Sports on some paperwork former OU center Gabe Ikard had to sign:

With Ikard often seen sitting courtside at Thunder games thanks to his girlfriend’s tickets, the compliance office was once again on his case.

He recently told that the NCAA made him and his girlfriend sign affidavits that she was not dating him because he was a football player.

For starters, I’m skeptical that the NCAA required Ikard and his girlfriend to sign anything. Meghan Durham of the NCAA confirmed on Twitter that the affidavit was not requested by the NCAA. The most likely explanation is that Oklahoma’s compliance office made sure to document that Ikard had a girlfriend who has courtside Thunder tickets in case anyone asks. Remember, this is the school so vigilant with compliance that it reported a secondary violation when athletes (including Ikard) got seconds at an event even though that is not a violation.

Ikard is also clearing referring to Oklahoma’s compliance office in the interview and never mentions the NCAA. He also says OU drafted the affidavit, again with no mention of the NCAA.

More fundamentally, I doubt the NCAA would ever be concerned about whether someone is dating a football player because of their status as a football player. The only reason the NCAA might question an athlete’s romantic relationship is if the significant other is being used by a third party like an agent, runner, or booster to get close to the athlete. The most likely explanation is that the affidavit and/or explanation to Ikard borrowed language from the NCAA’s more general rules about extra benefits and preexisting relationships where why the individual connected with the athlete become relevant.

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