While the NCAA continues to tweak its proposal to give some student-athletes an extra $2,000 for bills, some players are already finding ways to use their scholarship money to pay for those excess necessities - like scales, baggies and a vaporizer.
Middle Tennessee offensive lineman Preston Bailey did just that as he told Murfreesboro police he, "used his scholarship money as startup money for his illegal drug sales business," according to police spokesman Kyle Evans.
Bailey was arrested Feb. 16 and charged with possession of a schedule VI drug with intent to sell and possession of drug paraphernalia. Officers found nearly a pound of marijuana - 27.9 grams in a plastic bag in his dirty clothes hamper, five glass jars weighing 322.5 grams and another 6.2 grams of hash - and $3,000 in cash. Police also found scales, a grinder and a vaporizer.
Bailey joined the Blue Raiders in 2009 after transferring from Tennessee. He redshirted, started 12 games in 2010 and played in seven before suffering an injury that ended his career. Bailey had been dealing with injuries during most of his time with the Blue Raiders, so maybe the marijuana was being used to help speed up the healing process.
Middle Tennessee said in a statement that Bailey would no longer be on medical scholarship, so he can't use that money to help bail himself out or contribute to his legal fees.
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The Daily News Journal reported that during the 2010-11 school year, student-athletes received $4,466 for housing annually and $3,574 a year for food. This was in addition to a full scholarship, books and student fees.
"This is extremely disappointing and in no way represents the values we instill within our football program," coach Rick Stockstill said in a statement. "Although Preston has not been a member of our program since December, it is still upsetting to learn of this situation.
"As I tell our team on a daily basis, every choice you make has consequences. If you make good choices, you will get good results. And if you make bad choices, then you will have bad results."
This isn't the first time a Middle Tennessee player has used his excess grant-in-aid money for something other than paying bills for housing and food like it was intended. In 2010, quarterback Dwight Dasher got in hot water with the NCAA for borrowing money for gambling. According to the Daily Journal News, he completed an official university document confirming his $3,000 in housing/food allowances as a promissory note in paying the loan.
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