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Athletic Scholarship Taken Away


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#1 bballgirl23

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 04:56 PM

Hello,

I was recently informed by my school and coach that my basketball scholarship for the upcoming season would not be renewed. These are the events that took place leading up to my coaches decision. All of this happened during the 2011-2012 year in the state of Tennessee at a NCAA university.

I am 22 years old and I went out to a club and got drunk and was vomiting in the restroom. Someone noticed and called an ambulance. I did not want to go to the hospital but the person that called 911saidI should go because she recently lost 2 friends to alcohol poisoning. As we were waiting and talking outside a police officer ask me what happened and I told him. He asked me for my id but it was in my purse and one of my friends had it. The ambulance came and took me to the hospital. Once I arrived they checked me out and said that I was just drunk and could go home as soon as I called a friend to pick me up. I had left all my personal belongings at the club and could not remember any phone numbers. The officer followed me to the hospital and checked on me and asked me if I could how him my id. I told him that I could not because my purse was still at the club. He arrested me at the hospital and took me to jail for failure to produce identification. I spent the night in jail and was released the next morning when a friend realized what happened. I had a court date a week later. I showed up and the judge said that since I was never in trouble before he would let me go and that it would not be put on my record. I told my coach what happened and he was disappointed in me but glad I told him what happened. If I never would have said anything then he probably would not have found out. He said he would think of a fair punishment for me but he never told me anything after that. All of this happened about a month before school ended. This incident was off-campus and during our official off-season. There were no practices or study halls or meetings at all. Remember I am also 22 so I did not break any drinking laws. One the very last day of school my coach informed me that my scholarship was taken away. During the meeting he only mentioned my arrest once but kept stating that I was lazy with my rehab and that I missed too much time with "questionable" injuries and illnesses.

Here is the back-story. I was a medical red-shirt was medically ineligible to play or practice due to a torn ACL (knee injury) that occurred during work outs before the official NCAA season was to start. These open gyms were "not mandatory" but "optional". We were told that if we did not attend the coaches would remember this when the season started. The school wanted to make me pay out of pocket for the surgery because they said I "didn't have to be there...fast-forward the school decides to pay for my surgery after I bring up NCAA violations. Two months after surgery I have a rash caused from the brace that the doctor had me wear for the first 3 months on a daily basis that causes and infection to my knee. I am told that the school will not cover the medical bills because this was not caused directly from the surgery. I am an international student so they tell me that if I do not pay the medical bills for the infection then I might lose my visa and I will not be able to graduate. 3 months later I develop a rare but serious eye infection that causes damage to my vision. I now have blurry vision and headaches because of this. I missed rehab and classes due to my injuries and illnesses. Every day that I missed was excused by a doctor and was valid. I was in the training room everyday that I was physically able to and never missed a day unless told to by a doctor.

My question is can I sue the school for the loss of my scholarship? Other teammates got in trouble during our season for violating team rules, drinking, curfews and not keeping up to date with their grades. One of our assistant coaches was also sleeping with one of the mens basketball players during the school year. The coach also knew this but did nothing about it. All they got were warnings and suspensions for a few games. I appealed the decision with the school and they ruled in favor of the coach. I believe that the coach and the school are wrong in their decision. I believe that the coach and the school did not want me back because of all of the injuries and illness that happened to me during the school year. After looking up the NCAA rule book I read that he could not take my scholarship away due to my injuries and used my "arrest" as his reasoning with the school. There is so much more to the story but I do not want to write every detail of what else happened. I know I made a mistake but so did other people who were nit injured and they did not lose their scholarships....

Do I have a case?? Any input or advice would be greatly appreciated!!

Thank you for reading!


#2 GuessAgain

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 05:48 PM

Anyone can sue anybody for anything regardless of whether they have a case or not.  A scholarship is not something you are entitled to as a matter of right and when you break the rules, you can lose it.  You can petition the NCAA to intervene but suing the school will get you nowhere fast.

#3 bballgirl23

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 06:18 PM

I never once said I was entitled to the scholarship. I have worked extremely hard to get a scholarship both in the classroom and on the court so please hold your judgements to yourself. You obviously did not read my entire post...I was not the only one that "broke" the rules. Coaches sleeping with players is breaking the rules...not getting singled out and using my injuries as an excuse to take my scholarship because I spent 1 night in jail...

#4 bballgirl23

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 06:51 PM

Also after doing some research I have read that the NCAA usually favors the school and coaches rather the player. They protect their own....student-athletes are left to fend for themselves in many situations even if the school or coach is wrong

#5 LegalwriterOne

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 07:14 PM

Your post was very hard to follow given the huge block of text with no paragraph breaks.  No one said you said you were entitled to the scholarship.  It is fact, however, that there is no "right" to claim a scholarship.  It's a grant of money given under specific terms and conditions.  You note rule violations by other players, however, you never said any of them were arrested, were so drunk they had to be taken by ambulance to the hospital and couldn't remember any phone numbers.  Also that the judge "let you go," doesn't negate the fact of the arrest or that you were at risk of picking up a criminal record which reflects badly on the school.  That's more than a minor "team rule" violation and when you draw negative attention to the school, they take action.  Getting arrested is the kind of thing that not only gets your scholarship taken, but you expelled.  Also pointing fingers at others doesn't make you look better....As was pointed out, you can petition the NCAA to intervene but suing for a scholarship is not the proper avenue to address your complaints.  Feel free to consult local counsel.

#6 bballgirl23

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Posted 14 June 2012 - 08:04 PM

First thing I am trying to space out my paragraphs and previewing them, but it stays as one giant wall of text....Don't know how to fix the issue.......





I never said I was "too drunk" to remember any phone numbers. I simply stated that I did not remember. The numbers in my phone were from teammates and friends that I text and never would have thought that I would need in the situation that I was in.The only phone number that I remember is my parents and they are over in Europe. I understand that being arrested is not a good look for the school but had I not told the coach he probably would have never found out. As I said before there is much more to this then meets the eye.........




Once again there was NO Record of my "arrest". We had players fail drug test and only get suspended....So you're going to tell me that I would have been better off getting in trouble for drugs then spending the night in jail because I did not have identification!?!? I was never charged with any crime. I just don't understand how there are articles about "high-profile" athletes that are at larger schools and get arrested for much worse and get a suspension while I have to lose an opportunity to get my education because of one mistake. Once again not an excuse just pointing out some facts. The rules should be the same for each individual and if not then you must look at each circumstance differently with an open mind. Thats all I am trying to say............





I am not blaming anyone but myself for what happened that night but at the same time the school and yourself are negating other factors that occurred throughout the year. Granted I do not expect you to understand since you were not involved in the matter. With that said I would like to thank you for providing me with some information on the matter. Even though it is not what I expected to hear it is a dose of reality of how the laws work in the United States.............



Is there a certain area on NCAA website that I can look up for them to intervine? Or would I just be better off calling the phone number and asking them to review my case? Also why do you not think that suing the school is a good idea...........





This whole situation has just been very frustrating and I would like to apologize for coming off as an "entitled student-athlete". I just want to do everything possible to get back to school and graduate.... please excuse me for my terrible english as I am still learning. I will definitely seek advice from a local professional.


#7 pg1067

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 03:03 AM

bballgirl23 said...

My question is can I sue the school for the loss of my scholarship?

Yes.  Anyone can sue anyone for anything.  However, nothing in your post suggests that you have any chance of success.  Why?  Because you have no legal right to a scholarship (something you appeared to acknowledge in one of your follow up posts).  If, for example, the university chose not to renew your scholarship because of your ethnicity, religion, etc., then you might have a viable claim.  However, your post suggests nothing of the sort occurred.  In fact, your post suggests at least two clearly legal reasons.


bballgirl23 said...

Other teammates got in trouble during our season for violating team rules, drinking, curfews and not keeping up to date with their grades. One of our assistant coaches was also sleeping with one of the mens basketball players during the school year. The coach also knew this but did nothing about it. All they got were warnings and suspensions for a few games.

None of this is relevant unless you want to allege that you received disparate treatment because of your ethnicity, religion, etc.


bballgirl23 said...

I believe that the coach and the school are wrong in their decision.

Because?


bballgirl23 said...

I believe that the coach and the school did not want me back because of all of the injuries and illness that happened to me during the school year. After looking up the NCAA rule book I read that he could not take my scholarship away due to my injuries and used my "arrest" as his reasoning with the school.

The NCAA is a private entity.  While it has regulations that member schools must follow in order to be allowed to compete in NCAA sanctioned play, those regulations do not have the same significance of law.  It may be that not renewing your scholarship because of your injury might get the university sanctioned by the NCAA, but that doesn't mean it's unlawful.


bballgirl23 said...

There is so much more to the story but I do not want to write every detail of what else happened.

You need to understand that we can only respond based on what you tell us.  That said, 90% of your post was unnecessary to respond to the question.


Feel free to consult with a local attorney for a more thorough analysis of the facts and advice.



#8 pg1067

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 03:18 AM

bballgirl23 said...

I never once said I was entitled to the scholarship.

Understood, but you generally cannot sue for things to which you have no legal entitlement.


bballgirl23 said...

please hold your judgements to yourself.

I don't know what led you to the conclusion that "GuessAgain" was "judging" you or why you apparently found it offensive.  If you don't want people judging you, then you should stay out of intercollegiate athletics, courtrooms, and Internet message boards.  All are places where judgments are not only common but expected.


bballgirl23 said...

You obviously did not read my entire post.

It is a logical fallacy to assume that someone who isn't sympathetic to your goal hasn't read your entire post.


bballgirl23 said...

I understand that being arrested is not a good look for the school but had I not told the coach he probably would have never found out.

Pointing to hypothetical situations that are inconsistent with reality is not terribly helpful.


bballgirl23 said...

you must look at each circumstance differently with an open mind. Thats all I am trying to say

Regardless of what you're "trying to say," the fact is that you are saying an awful lot more.  You asked if you had a viable legal claim, and both of the prior responses fairly clearly explained that you don't and why that is the case.  While your situation might be objectively sympathetic, getting sympathy isn't the purpose of these boards.


bballgirl23 said...

I am not blaming anyone but myself for what happened that night but at the same time the school and yourself are negating other factors that occurred throughout the year.

Because those "other factors" are not legally relevant.


bballgirl23 said...

Granted I do not expect you to understand since you were not involved in the matter.

Any judge or jury who might hear your case also will not have been "involved in the matter."


bballgirl23 said...

Is there a certain area on NCAA website that I can look up for them to intervine?

I assume you can access the NCAA web site as well as we can, and no one here is going to be any more familiar with that site than you are.


bballgirl23 said...

why do you not think that suing the school is a good idea.

Because your posts suggest no viable legal basis for a lawsuit (i.e., because you'd likely lose).


bballgirl23 said...

please excuse
...[Message truncated]


#9 GuessAgain

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 03:19 AM

bballgirl23 said...

I believe that the coach and the school are wrong in their decision. I believe that the coach and the school did not want me back because of all of the injuries and illness that happened to me during the school year. After looking up the NCAA rule book I read that he could not take my scholarship away due to my injuries and used my "arrest" as his reasoning with the school.
Actually they can.  The rules say they cannot take the scholarship away during the current school year due to injury.  HOWEVER, scholarships are only awarded a year at a time and the school can decide not to renew your scholarship for another year if they want to.  They are only required to notify you of that decision by July 1.  I'd suggested you contact the NCAA but upon further review, they will not intervene since who gets a scholarship and who doesn't is the school's decision and they CAN LEGALLY not renew your scholarship due to you being injured and unavailable for the sport they recruited you to play.  Sorry, but you have no recourse.


#10 bballgirl23

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Posted 15 June 2012 - 10:09 AM

Thank you for your input on my situation. Even though I might not agree with everything being said I respect the advice that I have been given and I will see what can be done. Once again thank you I really appreciate the help and information!

#11 jgower

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 10:27 AM

 


This is from the NCAA website, http://www.ncaa.org/...holarships Work


Is an athletics scholarship guaranteed for four years? Athletics scholarships, like most merit-based scholarships, are limited to one academic year. The school must notify the student-athlete in writing by July 1 whether the athletics scholarship will be renewed for the next academic year. Athletics scholarships may be renewed for a maximum of five years within a six-year period of continuous college attendance. If a student-athlete’s aid will be reduced or canceled, the college or university must provide the student-athlete with an opportunity to appeal. In most cases, the coach decides who gets a scholarship, what it covers and whether it will be renewed.


 


So there is an appeal process you can go through; but I would imagine that as a coach's job depends on team  performance, the coach will be given a wide leeway as to who is on the team. But you never know in an appeal, you just may win.



#12 GuessAgain

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Posted 17 June 2012 - 01:23 PM

She already appealed and lost.  That's why she wanted to sue.

#13 harryjamespotter50

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 10:51 PM

Sounds like *****
First off you should moderate your drinking next time
Schools are allowed to punish for acktivies that disturb Education but I don't think drinking @ nite is disturbing to the school

Edited by FindLaw_AHK, 13 August 2012 - 06:49 AM.
This post has been edited to remove personal or identifying information. -Moderator





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