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More equal than others

Canisius College (Handout)

Sports

More equal than others

NCAA shows LGBTQ favoritism with crowdfunding decision 

The NCAA has gone out of its way to prove itself LGBTQ-friendly in recent years.

Big-time college sports’ governing body clashed with the government of Indiana, where its headquarters are located, in 2014 over a law aimed at protecting religious business owners. The organization also pulled several championship events out of North Carolina two years later due to that state’s since-repealed “bathroom bill,” which required people to use restrooms associated with their biological sex.

The NCAA’s decision to allow a lesbian Division I athlete to accept money from a GoFundMe campaign without forfeiting her eligibility is the latest example of the organization’s kowtowing to the powerful LGBTQ lobby.

Emily Scheck runs cross country and track for Canisius College in western New York. She had just moved back to campus in August when her parents, having discovered her lesbian relationship with a teammate via social media, disowned her.

At the time, Scheck, 19, had a net worth of $20, and her partial athletic scholarship was nowhere near enough to cover her books, housing, and other expenses during the fall semester.

Scheck’s roommate started a fundraising campaign on the crowdfunding website GoFundMe.com. The campaign raised $25,000 in a matter of days—more than enough to cover Scheck’s needs for the fall semester and her tuition for the spring. By Thanksgiving, the campaign had raised more than $100,000.

The NCAA has concerns about agents and boosters providing money to athletes through crowdfunding websites. However, the NCAA lets student-athletes raise money via crowdfunding under certain circumstances: One is that, for individual athletes, the money raised must cover actual and necessary expenses related to an athletic event and practice immediately preceding it. A student-athlete may also participate in a crowdfunding campaign unrelated to sports so long as the campaign doesn’t mention athletics.

Handout

Emily Scheck (Handout)

Scheck’s GoFundMe page violated both rules: It prominently mentioned that Scheck runs for Canisius, and it aimed to cover funding for the runner’s general college expenses as opposed to a particular athletic event.

When word of the campaign reached the NCAA, the organization gave Scheck a choice: Return the money, or forfeit her eligibility to compete. Unable to stay in school or even afford food without the money, Scheck chose the latter option.

In November, the NCAA backtracked, deciding Scheck could keep the money and maintain her eligibility. The NCAA never stated its reasons for doing so, but a line from the LGBTQ website Outsports.com provides a clue: “Headlines like ‘NCAA and Catholic college force disowned gay athlete to return donations for food and books’ don’t bode well for either,” Cyd Zeigler wrote.

The NCAA changed its tune on the same day Outsports ran the story.

The willingness to accommodate Scheck highlights major hypocrisy on the NCAA’s part: College football and men’s basketball players, African-Americans in particular, often come from poor families who cannot afford to assist with the expenses that college scholarships don’t cover—among them transportation, laundry money, and clothing. To meet these needs, or even to help provide for their families, athletes often take money under the table from agents or boosters or try to make money via other means, like selling autographed memorabilia online.

Such actions, of course, violate NCAA rules, and once they come to light, the athletes’ schools become embroiled in scandal. Many have to forfeit victories or even championships and get slapped with postseason bans due to the violations.

Occasionally, the NCAA grants exemptions, as it did with Clemson football player Ray Ray McElrathbey in 2006 when he took custody of his 11-year-old brother while their mother battled addiction. But such exemptions are rare.

Scheck certainly comes across as a sympathetic figure due to her disownment and subsequent financial struggles. However, the NCAA’s willingness to bend its rules for her and not for other athletes in need is an equally poor look.

Comments

  • Marc Mertens
    Posted: Sat, 01/19/2019 10:27 am

    equality for inequality. I respect Scheck's parents for there decision.

  • follower
    Posted: Sat, 01/19/2019 02:49 pm

    Hypocrisy is a fascinating descriptive word.  I thought the case was racism since a white person is treated better than minority athletes are.  Perhaps, it is classism, since a middle-class woman receives better treatment than a poor athlete.  Could it be sexism since a lesbian woman deserves better treatment and a heterosexual man?  Is it just religious hatred since it happened at a Catholic college and clearly all sexual freedoms must be encouraged in order to keep the college from practicing Catholic doctrine,  Then again, maybe, it is just fear because it is better to placate the LGBT lobby than uphold honor, integrity, and fairness.  Is this enough sarcasm?  I am afraid you are right, it is secular self-righteous hypocrisy. Clearly, it is time to pray for we live in a very fallen world.

  • TxAgEngr
    Posted: Sun, 01/20/2019 06:42 pm

    Having an elevated position on the Accredited Victim Status Hierarchy certainly has its privileges.  So, going forward, I assume any homosexual student athelete claiming a strained parental relationship could benefit from crowdfunding.  Considering that "Thou Shalt Not Discriminate" is currently the greatest commandment in American jurisprudence, how could the NCAA object or expect to win in a court challenge?

  • Steve Shive
    Posted: Mon, 01/21/2019 06:36 am

    Nothing new here in regards to the NCAA. Changing names or specifics could have this apply to the NFL, ESPN, many politicians, much of corporate America, much of our legal system and court decisions. Corporate, or political, bigotry and bias only reflects the deeper and more sinister attack on all that is good and holy. It is just part of the current dark plan of the Enemy. We should not be surprised. 

    I of course am not privy to all that went into the Scheck's parental decision to disown their daughter. But that breaks my heart as much as, if not more than, the silly NCAA. As parents do we not love our children in spite of their sin(s)? When do their sins become so great that we no longer love and care for them? This on the surface does not reflect the life or example of Jesus. But of course I do not know the parents nor Emily. They both sound misguided.