Joe Kinsey, founder of the irreverent sports blog Busted Coverage, initially shared the link to Guy and Jenkins’s gift registry in a post published Monday. Then he received a cease and desist letter from Kelly Korras, Virginia’s associate director of compliance.
The letter, which was shared with The Washington Post, read in part: “The University is requesting that you immediately remove the wedding registry link. The receipt of items from the registry could constitute an impermissible extra benefit. By posting these items, you are jeopardizing the student-athlete’s eligibility for competition.”
NCAA rules stipulate college athletes are not permitted to receive extra benefits, including “cash, gift certificates or other items with value” from athletic representatives, boosters or fans.
“It was a joke. I thought it was funny,” Kinsey said of his blog post, which he removed after receiving the letter. “He’s getting married, and here’s his registry. But I didn’t want Kyle to get in trouble.”
Two things here: one, I said technically correct. The NCAA didn’t directly bring the hammer down, but it certainly created the framework that led UVa to its anal compliance concerns.
In a statement to Yahoo Sports, Virginia assistant athletic director for public relations Erich Bacher explained the school’s thought process. It was all an effort to make sure Guy did not have any eligibility issues.
“Once we were informed about Kyle and Alexa’s wedding registry being online and publicized by a media entity, our Compliance Office instructed Kyle to make the wedding registry private to help ensure there would be no issues with his eligibility,” Bacher told Yahoo Sports via email.
“Since that time the UVA Compliance Office has been in communication with the NCAA and while neither the NCAA nor UVA desire to interrupt typical gift giving practices, we will attempt to ensure that student-athletes are not receiving benefits that would violate NCAA rules. We appreciate the NCAA staff and its prompt assistance in handling this matter.”
… Later on, the NCAA followed up with a statement.
“As NCAA President Mark Emmert stated in the Men’s Final Four press conference today, this is ‘simply an inaccurate story.’ Typical wedding gifts from family and friends are not violations,” the statement said.
The key word there is “typical.” If a few overzealous fans were buying the couple gifts, would that fall under the NCAA’s purview of a “typical” gift from “family and friends?”
The idea that schools are busy monitoring wedding registries is farcical. But not unexpected.
Oh, that second thing?
Virginia’s compliance department made the decision to use an abundance of caution to ensure there would be no problem’s with Guy’s eligibility. With the basketball team playing in just its third Final Four in program history, it would be a crushing blow if one of the team’s best players was ruled ineligible.
Don’t forget that Virginia’s athletic director is a product of Butts-Mehre. No doubt Greg McGarity is busting with pride over the lessons Carla Williams has taken with her from Athens.