Lucky shot could cost college basketball player's eligibility - FOX 35 News Orlando

Lucky shot could cost college basketball player's eligibility

Posted: Updated:
In this Monday, Nov. 18, 2013, file photo, Cameron Rodriguez, second from left, celebrates with Oklahoma City Thunder mascot Rumble, left, after hitting a half-court shot to win $20,000. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File) In this Monday, Nov. 18, 2013, file photo, Cameron Rodriguez, second from left, celebrates with Oklahoma City Thunder mascot Rumble, left, after hitting a half-court shot to win $20,000. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A college basketball player who won $20,000 for hitting a half-court shot at an Oklahoma City Thunder game may have to either forfeit the money or his eligibility to play college sports.

Cameron Rodriguez, a 23-year-old sophomore forward for Winfield, Kan.-based Southwestern College, sank the promotional shot on Nov. 8 during the Thunder's home game against the Denver Nuggets.

Southwestern athletic director Dave Denly says the college's governing body for athletics, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, informed Rodriguez that if he kept the money he would lose his amateur status. The school has appealed, asking if the money can be accepted in the form of a scholarship.

NAIA spokesman Chad Waller confirmed the organization is looking into the matter and said a ruling could take two weeks.

Eight lucky fans have hit the half-court shot, sponsored by a local bank, in 231 home games since the promotion started, said Thunder spokesman Dan Mahoney.

"We've been in communication with Cameron," Mahoney said. "He's a great kid, and we hope it works out best for him."

For his part, Rodriguez, of Elk City, Okla., said he never considered taking the money and forfeiting his college athletic career.

"In my eyes, it's just money," said Rodriguez, who receives a partial scholarship that offsets some of the cost of his tuition. "I know I'm a college kid who can use some help, but my love for basketball and my passion for the sport — it's worth more to me than $20,000."

If he's unable to accept the money in the form of a scholarship, Rodriguez said he hopes the proceeds can be donated to a charity or nonprofit.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Terror threats at chemical plants underestimated

    Terror threats at chemical plants underestimated

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 9:08 AM EDT2014-07-30 13:08:58 GMT
    Congressional investigators say the government is underestimating the threat of a chemical attack on America's densely populated cities and has failed to inspect virtually all of the chemical facilities that it...
    Congressional investigators say the government is underestimating the threat of a chemical attack on America's densely populated cities and has failed to inspect virtually all of the chemical facilities that it...
  • Teen in elevator attacked and robbed

    Teen in elevator attacked and robbed

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 8:31 AM EDT2014-07-30 12:31:54 GMT
    Two thugs were caught on security camera footage beating a teenager and stealing from her inside an apartment building in the Midwood section of Brooklyn.  The NYPD says the attackers are seen dragging the 18-year-old out of an elevator into the hallway and punching and kicking her.
    Two thugs were caught on security camera footage beating a teenager and stealing from her inside an apartment building in the Midwood section of Brooklyn.  The NYPD says the attackers are seen dragging the 18-year-old out of an elevator into the hallway and punching and kicking her.
  • TSA contest calls for ideas to improve airline security lines

    TSA contest calls for ideas to improve airline security lines

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 8:11 AM EDT2014-07-30 12:11:07 GMT
    Everyone hates long lines at security checkpoints and the TSA knows it. Now the TSA is sponsoring a contest to encourage anyone with new ideas about how to make the airport security lines go faster. Often for air travelers, the security checkpoint experience is the worst part of their trip. That's why the TSA turned to the crowdsourcing site Innocentive asking for ideas pledging a total of $15,000 in prize money, with at least one $5,000 award.
    Everyone hates long lines at security checkpoints and the TSA knows it. Now the TSA is sponsoring a contest to encourage anyone with new ideas about how to make the airport security lines go faster. Often for air travelers, the security checkpoint experience is the worst part of their trip. That's why the TSA turned to the crowdsourcing site Innocentive asking for ideas pledging a total of $15,000 in prize money, with at least one $5,000 award.
Powered by WorldNow

35 Skyline Drive
Lake Mary, FL 32746

Phone: (407) 644-3535
News Tips: (866) 55-FOX35

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices