(FeaturedNews.com) – A high school football team from Alabama had to forfeit their victory after several players received gift cards from the school.
Adam Winegarden, the Tuscaloosa County head coach, stated that following the victory over Central in the recent game, many of the players had been given gift cards. In Week 2 of this season, Tuscaloosa County, which belongs to the state’s 7A classification, defeated Bessemer City.
As Winegard revealed to NJ.com, they had received a call from the Alabama High School Athletic Association informing them that several athletes had received recognition from the organization and that they would be given a gift card to eat at Buffalo Wild Wings. However, receiving the gift cards meant that many of the athletes were no longer considered amateur athletes.
Winegard further pointed out that the players had not redeemed the gift cards, and that at least two of those players had participated in the game against Bessemer City.
Alvin Briggs, the executive director of the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) reaffirmed last week the amateur rules of the association. In a memo, he noted that the NCAA’s NIL was not applicable to high school student-athletes and as such, student-athletes are not allowed to accept any money, gift cards, or other payments as a result of being in their high school team. The memo further pointed out that the school was responsible for informing students and parents about the Amateur Rule, and the penalties for violations of the rule.
Winegard noted that the AHSAA had heard about the violation from a different school and that he would have preferred to have had the school reach out first before reporting a possible violation.
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