Who knew washing your car could be so controversial? It became an issue recently when a West Coast Conference college athlete — a golfer — used the water from a hose on her school's campus to clean up her car.
The school reported the incident because the water and the hose were deemed an "extra benefit" not available to regular students, this in violation of NCAA rules saying that athletes cannot accept special gifts. The guidelines are sometimes so complex and confusing that it's impossible for athletes and schools to know what's OK and what isn't.
"The WCC opted to penalize the golfer initially $20, which is what they deemed the cost of the water and the hose involved. They have since said this shouldn't have been a violation and that nothing should have happened in this case." said Jeff Eisenberg, college basketball blogger for Yahoo Sports, on Take Two. "Just the very fact time was spent on the idea of a carwash potentially being a violation, speaks to some of the flaws in the rule book and the complicated level of these extra benefits violations."
At one time athletic departments could provide bagels for their student athletes, but could not provide anything extra like cream cheese or shmear.
"The rules were all put in place for a good reason, initially, but you have schools that go to such great lengths to bend them that you get more clauses put in," said Eisenberg. "Pretty soon you have a rulebook that's thicker than the encyclopedia. I wish we could get some common sense here and take care of the bigger stuff."
Quiz: Can you guess which NCAA rules are true or false?