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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883


It is now permissible to contribute to the Sorenson Families medical expenses

Washington State has clarified the NCAA's position on a charitable account set up to assist the family of offensive lineman Riley Sorenson. Here is the release from WSU:

Cougars Clarify Position on GoFundMe Account
PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University Athletics has added clarity to its position regarding football student-athlete Riley Sorenson and the personal situation he and his family are dealing with.
Prior to last Saturday’s Sun Bowl, Sorenson’s father suffered a medical emergency which has kept the family in El Paso, Texas. Earlier this week, parties related to the Sun Bowl, with the best intentions for the family at heart, and without the knowledge of Cougar Athletics, created a GoFundMe account to assist the family with expenses related to the situation. While well meaning, the efforts at the time were not in compliance with NCAA rules.
Since that time, WSU Associate Director of Athletics for Compliance John Lucier has worked diligently with the Sun Bowl, the Pac-12 Conference and the NCAA to ensure proper procedures have been put in place to assist the family. Under NCAA bylaw NCAA, if an NCAA school is involved, the name, image and likeness of the student-athlete can be used to help raise money for medical emergencies.
The bylaw states that fundraisers for student-athletes (or their family members) are permissible under the following extreme circumstances:
·         Extreme circumstances should be extraordinary in the result of events beyond the student-athlete's control (e.g., life-threatening illness, natural disaster);
·         The proceeds must be designated for a specific purpose (e.g., payment of medical bills, purchase of medical equipment, replacement of items lost in a fire, etc.)
·         The proceeds may be given directly to the beneficiaries, with receipt kept on file by the institution, which must include the amount of expenses incurred and the total amount received; and
·         The excess proceeds must be given to a not-for-profit organization with the receipt kept on file by the institution.
“From the moment we became aware of the GoFundMe account for Riley, we have been in contact with multiple people to ensure everything is done in the best interest of Riley and his family, while still following NCAA guidelines,” said Lucier. “At this point, with appropriate cooperation of all involved parties, it is permissible for all concerned to contribute to the fund that has been established to assist the Sorenson family.”

Jacob Thorpe
Jacob Thorpe joined The Spokesman-Review in 2013. He currently is a reporter for the Sports Desk covering Washington State University athletics.

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