News Bytes: Catching Up On the Week’s Stories

Florida Gators

College champ Tim Tebow is at the top of this week’s news bytes. Tebow got a little clarification from the NCAA this week. The ’07 Heisman winner gets to continue his evangelism efforts, which is good, because apparently it’s the main reason he’s returning to the Gators next season. After the jump, we’ve got bytes on celebrity voicemails and an interesting rivalry brewing between Purdue and Michigan State.

Tim Tebow: In Palm Beach, Ben Volin reported that the NCAA granted University of Florida QB Tim Tebow “permission to help raise funds for his family’s evangelical operation.”

Tebow’s father runs the Bob Tebow Evangelistic Association as well as Uncle Dick’s Home, an orphanage that is a separate financial entity of the association. Tim Tebow said last week that “the ability to raise funds for his evangelism … is what propelled him to return to Gainesville for one more season.”

Speaking with the Tallahassee Democrat, Tebow said, “My reason for coming back wasn’t to win another championship, which we’re trying to do, or to go higher in the draft. It was to have an impact on today’s youth, something that most athletes don’t ever take the time to think about” (Ben Volin, Palm Beach Post, 3/5).

In Tampa, Atonya English noted that Tebow “was not granted a waiver to be a fundraiser.”

An NCAA statement: “There is no waiver involved here. … Donations to the orphanage (or any other nonprofit entity) from the university or its boosters are allowed under our bylaws. NCAA bylaws prohibit an institution or boosters from providing benefits to a student-athlete or the
student-athlete’s family that generally aren’t available to any student in the general student body.”

The NCAA also stated that “bylaws allow student-athletes to help promote educations, charitable or nonprofit entities, and the orphanage would fall under those categories” (Atonya English, TampaBay.com, 3/6).

Celebrity Voicemail: International Medical Corps is running an online auction on eBay. The pitch: Have a celebrity to record your voicemail. The celebrities include a few athletes, such as Kansas City Chiefs QB Matt Cassel, Cincinnati Bengals QB Carson Palmer and Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, among others (International Medical Corps).

College Rivalry: The Exponent, Purdue’s student newspaper, reported that “the Paint Crew (Purdue’s student section) and the Izzone (Michigan State’s) are currently battling to raise the most money” for Coaches vs. Cancer, a contest officially dubbed “The Izzone vs. Paint Crew Charity Challenge” (Cassie Folck, The Exponent, 3/3).

Cleveland Marathon: The Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon announced that the 2008 event raised nearly $19,000 for local charities that participated in and assisted with the race. Additionally, another ten charities indepently raised about $350,000 from donors for their participation (Cleveland Marathon).