The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) will allow Thunder fan and Southwestern College (Kan.) basketball player Cameron Rodriguez to keep his $20,000 winnings for hitting a half-court shot during the Thunder game on Nov. 18.
The NAIA initially informed Rodriguez if he kept the money he would lose his amateur status and be ruled ineligible for competition. Rodriguez and the Southwestern College athletic department appealed, asking the NAIA to grant an exception to let Rodriguez accept the money in the form of a scholarship.
Tuesday, the NAIA's National Eligibility Committee (NEC) granted the appeal.
"We're pleased with the decision from the membership and specifically the NEC that allows Cameron to keep his winnings to use towards his education," said Jim Carr, NAIA President and CEO. "We feel the NAIA is the student-centered association in collegiate athletics, and this decision by our membership reflects that emphasis."
Rodriguez, a sophomore forward for the Moundbuilders, must maintain his amateur status throughout the remainder of his eligibility.