Perfect Pitch: NCAA Determines Mo’ne Davis Can Keep Amateur Status Despite Ad

October 24, 2014  |  

When Mo’ne Davis, the pitching sensation from the Little League World Series, appeared in a commercial for Chevrolet that aired during Game 1 of the World Series earlier this week, many wondered if she would lose her amateur status.

Social media was all abuzz. Amateur athletes can not get paid for commercial ventures otherwise they could lose out of possible college scholarships. More specifically, “The NCAA prohibits college athletes from profiting off their name, likeness or image,” reports SI.com. And college is definitely on the 13-year-old Davis’s agenda as she said often during interviews that her dream was to play college basketball for the UConn women’s team, reports USA Today.

But soon after the commercial ran, the NCAA released a statement saying the commercial would not impact Davis’ amateur status.

“Since January, NCAA Division 1 membership gave staff more flexibility to consider unique circumstances when determining eligibility,” according to the statement. “The NCAA staff’s decision was made within this process and based on a combination of considerations. This waiver narrowly extends the rules – which allow Davis to accept the payment and still be eligible in any other sport – to include baseball. The NCAA staff also considered the historically limited opportunities for women to participate in professional baseball. In addition, Davis is much younger than when the vast majority of the prospect rules apply. While this situation is unusual, the flexible approach utilized in this decision is not.”

So it seems the NCAA cut Davis a little slack. As well they should. At 13 years old, Davis has said that she has an interest in playing basketball for the University of Connecticut, but there’s still time for her to change her mind. And clearly, any team would be lucky to have her talents.

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