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Jeff Eisenberg

Kansas, NCAA help Robinson family in wake of tragedy

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

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Dozens of stories have been devoted to the shocking death of Kansas forward Thomas Robinson's mother last week, yet the tragedy is best summed up by this gut-wrenching photo to the right.

That's Robinson holding his nine-year-old sister Jayla minutes after they arrived at the funeral services of their mother Lisa Robinson on Thursday morning. Lisa died of an apparent heart attack at age 43 last Friday night, less than a month after Thomas and Jayla buried their grandmother and grandfather as well.

Although much of the criticism the NCAA receives for its stringent bylaws is well-deserved, credit the organization for showing compassion and bending its rules on behalf of Robinson and his sister.

The NCAA announced Wednesday that it was allowing the Kansas athletic department to pay for Lisa Robinson's funeral expenses and fly the entire team to Washington D.C. for Thursday's memorial service. Jayla will return to Lawrence with her brother at Kansas' expense as well, though no decision has been made at this time about her longterm future living situation.

A handful of readers have emailed wondering how they can help out Thomas and Jayla in the wake of this tragedy, so here's the information courtesy of the Kansas athletic department.

Lisa Robinson's family is asking that, in lieu of flowers or other gifts, contributions be made to the Lisa Robinson Scholarship Fund, for the benefit of her daughter, Jayla, c/o SNR Denton, 1301 K Street NW, Suite 600, East Tower, Washington, DC 20005-3364. The Scholarship Fund will be administered by Christopher "Kit" Smith of SNR Denton US LLP and other fiduciaries selected by SNR Denton. Contributions to the Lisa Robinson Scholarship Fund are nondeductible for tax purposes.

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