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Thunder fan may have to forfeit $20,000 for halfcourt shot

By Royce Young | NBA writer

Two Thunder fans made halfcourt shots last week that each won them $20,000.

But only one of them will likely be walking away with his cash.

Cameron Rodriguez, who swished one from halfcourt Nov. 8 against the Nuggets is a 23-year-old sophomore at Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas. But there's a problem: He's not just a student, he's a student athlete, which complicates things for him, at least according to the NAIA.

Via the Associated Press:

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.

Oh my.

Rodriguez, though, has said that he isn't interested in the money but wants to continue to play basketball.

"In my eyes, it's just money," said Rodriguez, via the AP. "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."

Rodriguez said that if he can't keep the money, he wants it to go to a charity or a nonprofit.

We all know that the NCAA has a way with these sort of things, but it seems like the NAIA wants to get noticed too. I don't really see how winning a $20,000 prize impact's Rodriguez's amatuer status and would give Southwestern some kind of competitive advanatage, but then again, that's thinking with common sense which is something this college athletic governing bodies don't do very much of.

 
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