NCAA allows Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence's coronavirus fundraiser

March 25 (UPI) — Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence had an online coronavirus fundraiser shut down by his school, to comply with NCAA rules, before college sports’ governing body granted him a waiver to continue with the effort.

Lawrence and girlfriend Marissa Mowry started the campaign on GoFundMe on Sunday to raise money for families impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Clemson compliance officials learned about the page and asked Lawrence to deactivate it, based on rules prohibiting athletes from using their name, image and likeness for crowdfunding.

The NCAA said in a statement Tuesday that it would make an exception to the rule for Lawrence’s campaign and other student-athletes who want to raise money for those impacted by the pandemic.

Mowry — a soccer player at Anderson University — posted a video Tuesday explaining why Lawrence no longer could be a part of the fundraiser. The campaign had raised more than $2,600 before it was taken down.

Lawrence said that money would be sent to No Kid Hungry and Meals on Wheels. No Kid Hungry is a child hunger organization that has used emergency grants to provide meals to children impacted by the pandemic in the United States. Meals on Wheels also has been providing food to families impacted by the pandemic.

Lawrence posted videos Tuesday and Wednesday on his Instagram story, addressing social media criticism aimed at the NCAA after his GoFundMe page was deactivated.

“It wasn’t the NCAA doing anything bad,” Lawrence said. “They weren’t trying to stop us from helping raise money for this cause. It was more about the rules in place that our compliance department was following to make sure we were in the clear as Clemson … to make sure we were doing things the right way.

Lawrence also thanked the NCAA for “granting a waiver” to allow him to continue using the page. He said he was going to take some time to think about how to resume the fundraiser. Lawrence also asked his Instagram following for ideas of which non-profit groups with which he could partner for the fundraiser.

“The NCAA did not ask Trevor Lawrence to take down his fundraiser for COVID-19 patients and their families,” the NCAA said in a statement. “We continue to work with member schools so they have the flexibility to ensure that student-athletes and communities impacted by this illness are supported, and we applaud Trevor for his efforts.”

Lawrence and Mowry also are writing letters of support to those impacted by the coronavirus.

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