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Rutgers Athletic Center. Photo: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

A check for $857.20 changed Rutgers' basketball recruit Maori Davenport's life — but not for the better.

What's happening: The check was sent to Davenport by USA Basketball for "lost wages" during her time with the U-18 team over the summer. Once she cashed it, she was declared ineligible by the Alabama High School Athletic Association, which does not allow payments of more than $250. Now her high school basketball career is effectively over.

  • USA Basketball routinely checks with the state athletic association on their policies regarding payments, but failed to do so in Davenport's case.

What they're saying:

  • ESPN's Jay Bilas: " The issue is one of reasonableness. ... Is it reasonable to punish an innocent girl for a clerical error? No."
  • Brian Agler, coach of the WNBA's Dallas Wings: "I'm just puzzled by the regality of the Alabama High School State Association. … It's one adult group denying her the eligibility while another adult group also made an error."

P.S. ... This isn't the first time a high school athletic association has punished a student for unfortunate circumstances, and it won't be the last.

Go deeper

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
44 mins ago - Economy & Business

The winners and losers of the pandemic holiday season

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The pandemic has upended Thanksgiving and the shopping season that the holiday kicks off, creating a new crop of economic winners and losers.

The big picture: Just as it has exacerbated inequality in every other facet of American life, the coronavirus pandemic is deepening inequities in the business world, with the biggest and most powerful companies rapidly outpacing the smaller players.

Coronavirus cases rose 10% in the week before Thanksgiving

Expand chart
Data: The COVID Tracking Project, state health departments; Map: Andrew Witherspoon, Sara Wise/Axios

The daily rate of new coronavirus infections rose by about 10 percent in the final week before Thanksgiving, continuing a dismal trend that may get even worse in the weeks to come.

Why it matters: Travel and large holiday celebrations are most dangerous in places where the virus is spreading widely — and right now, that includes the entire U.S.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York coronavirus restrictions

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled late Wednesday that restrictions previously imposed on New York places of worship by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) during the coronavirus pandemic violated the First Amendment.

Why it matters: The decision in a 5-4 vote heralds the first significant action by the new President Trump-appointed conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who cast the deciding vote in favor of the Catholic Church and Orthodox Jewish synagogues.