High school basketball recruit ruled ineligible over $857.20 check

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.

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