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EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was updated from an earlier version to reflect that the NCAA will allow athletes and schools to be involved with these types of fund-raisers.
People around the world are searching for ways to help make a difference as the coronavirus outbreak continues to cause sickness and death, and change the way humans go about everyday life.
Clemson star quarterback Trevor Lawrence and his girlfriend Marissa Mowry, who plays soccer at Anderson University, will now get to do that as well.
The NCAA announced late Tuesday afternoon that it is making an exception during the coronavirus outbreak to rules that prohibit student-athletes from using name, image and likeness for crowd funding efforts.
The State reported earlier Tuesday that Clemson’s compliance department had asked Lawrence to end the campaign. The NCAA reached out to the Clemson’s athletics department shortly after that story published to inform the school that Lawrence’s intentions were good and his campaign could continue.
Lawrence and Mowry are expected to revive their fund-raising efforts.
“Shoutout to the NCAA. Thank y’all so much for granting a waiver. They’re allowing us to continue to raise money for what we were doing originally. So we’re gonna take some time and kind of think about how we’re going to restart it back up,” Lawrence said on Instagram Tuesday night. “We’re going to take the night and maybe some of tomorrow or whatever to figure out exactly how we want to do it to be as efficient and to help as many people as possible.”
The NCAA released the following statement: “The NCAA did not ask Clemson student-athlete Trevor Lawrence to take down his fundraiser for COVID-19 patients and their families. We continue to work with member schools so they have the flexibility to ensure that student-athletes and communities impacted by this illness are supported, and we applaud Trevor for his efforts.”
Lawrence and Mowry originally started a GoFundMe fund-raising page for coronavirus victims Monday afternoon, but it was shut down the same day after raising $2,670. A Clemson official told The State the Clemson University compliance department asked for the page to be taken down in order to comply with NCAA rules.
Mowry said through a video on her Instagram account that they were forced to deactivate the page.
“Unfortunately Trevor cannot be a part of this anymore due to compliance and some rules, so he can’t help out anymore,” Mowry said in a video on her Instagram page. “And also we have to take down the GoFundMe page.”
The $2,670 that was raised will go to Meals on Wheels America and No Kid Hungry, Lawrence said in a video on Mowry’s Instagram page.
The State did reach out to the NCAA seeking comment and clarity on the rules Tuesday afternoon before the original story published.
The NCAA responded in the evening stating that it would allow a waiver for Lawrence and other athletes and that it supports Lawrence’s quest to help coronavirus victims.
“We just wanted to say that it wasn’t necessarily the NCAA doing anything bad. They weren’t trying to stop us from helping raise money for this cause. It was more of just their rules that are in place that our compliance department was following just to make sure that we were in the clear as Clemson, as an organization, that we were doing things the right way,” Lawrence said on Instagram.
“I just wanted to thank the NCAA, really. Everyone’s made them out to be the bad guy, but it was more so the rules that were already in place. They’ve done a really good job of responding and actually allowing us to do it.”