Who knew that a relationship for a college athlete could be similar to one involving someone becoming a U.S. citizen through marriage?
Former Oklahoma center Gabe Ikard said last week that he and his girlfriend had to sign an affidavit proving their relationship was real for the Oklahoma compliance office. Seriously.
His girlfriend has courtside seats to Oklahoma City Thunder games, so he's prominently on television whenever he's in attendance. Oklahoma, still presumably reeling from the excessive pasta violations, wanted to ensure that Ikard was not committing a NCAA violation with the tickets being impermissible benefits.
“They did some digging and I’m actually compliant official with my girlfriend,” Ikard said on WWLS' The Morning Animals ( via SoonerScoop.com). “We had to sign a signed affidavit that she was not dating me just because I was a football player.”
No, tickets from your girlfriend are not impermissible benefits. But the affidavit is yet another example of the NCAA minutiae that can be so ridiculous, even if the school was simply trying to cover all its bases to prevent any possible violations. When an affidavit is deemed remotely necessary for basketball tickets, it's hard to take the NCAA's side in any of the current cases of athletes and former athletes asking for different treatment from the sanctioning body.
“They kind of drafted it themselves. I said she just likes big guys, just accept it,” Ikard cracked.
And speaking of the pasta incident, Olive Garden even volunteered to cater Ikard's draft party. He went undrafted and signed with the Tennessee Titans after the draft. In February, it was revealed that the Sooners had self-reported three players eating pasta past the permissible amounts and the players had to each donate $3.83 (the monetary value of which they overate) to charity to keep their eligibility. Ikard was one of those players.
With the new unlimited meals and snacks rule going into effect for the next school year, those violations should be a thing of the past.
“It’s the power of Twitter man. It’s kind of sad but that’s really the truth. I got connected with them during the pastagate thing and I’ve kept a relationship with their social media staff," Ikard said. “(Olive Garden) asked me if I was doing a draft party or having a get together and I said I was doing a little party after the draft and they volunteered to cater it for free."
- - - - - - -