|Oklahoma to seek NCAA waiver for booster to raise funds for recruit's funeral|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 29 August 2007 08:17|
Herman Mitchell, a 6-foot, 200-pound linebacker, verbally committed in June to play for the Sooners, but the 17-year-old from Westfield High School in Houston was shot to death Friday after getting into a fight at an apartment complex.
Soon after, Oklahoma booster and Houston resident Adam Fineberg began raising money for Mitchell's family to help defray the player's funeral costs. Fineberg had raised about $4,500 before university compliance officials told him his actions violated NCAA rules.
Oklahoma officials said they'd been told Tuesday by the NCAA that the money raised by Fineberg would constitute illegal financial assistance under NCAA rules, because Mitchell's brother is a sophomore football player at Westfield and Fineberg is considered to be an Oklahoma booster.
Fineberg said his only intention was to help Mitchell's mother to pay for the funeral.
Oklahoma athletic department spokesman Kenny Mossman said the university plans to submit a request to the NCAA for a waiver that would allow Fineberg to resume his fundraising. NCAA spokesman Erik Christianson said the organization ``would consider that if the university chose to go down that avenue.''
Mossman said Wednesday the waiver request would ``just outline the situation and parameters'' of where the money would go and would likely be submitted to the NCAA within a few days.
``I'm sure they'll recognize this is a situation that merits a quick review,'' Mossman said.
Fineberg said he expected to raise at least $10,000, which would cover the cost of Mitchell's funeral. His plan was to collect donations until Oct. 1, then give the money to Mitchell's family on Oct. 5.
``I understand that rules shouldn't be broken,'' Fineberg said. ``But I don't understand this rule.''
Authorities arrested a 19-year-old Louisiana man, Emile ``Rusty'' Lewis, and charged him with murder in the shooting of Mitchell.