After former Alabama wide receiver Tyrone Prothro testified earlier this month in the O’Bannon vs. NCAA trial that he still owed nearly $10,000 in student loans, a Birmingham, Ala., based environmental cleanup company has offered to help.
According to CBS Sports, One Stop Environmental plans to donate $5,000 into the Tyrone Prothro College Fund Account “in an attempt to raise at least $10,000 for Prothro.”
Prothro was a highly thought of NFL prospect for the Crimson Tide before he suffered a serious leg injury in 2005. The injury became infected and, in all, Prothro had 10 surgeries on the leg. He testified that he took out the student loans to cover summer expenses like “bills, food and items for his dorm room” and that he figured he would have no issue repaying the loan after reaching the NFL.
The image of a famous reception Prothro made against Southern Miss has been sold and reproduced in photographs and on television broadcasts over the years and Alabama received $110,000 in scholarship money from Pontiac for the play. When Prothro wanted to use the iconic photograph in his biography, he testified that he had to purchase them the school.
One Stop Environmental CEO Shannon Riley said she learned of Prothro’s story during the trial.
“When a company, such as X-Box, or the NCAA or a school makes money directly from the image of that athlete, they should be able to be paid a royalty from that,” Riley said.
Prothro, who graduated from Alabama, is now an account manager for a Coca-Cola distributor. He said he has not had the chance to pay off any of the loans yet and that he is “very grateful” for the help.
“It’s very nice of them to want to help me out with this matter,” he said.
Riley told CBS Sports that One Stop Environmental will match every donation made for Prothro.
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