Tennessee commit Alontae Taylor and Tennessee target Greg Emerson head to Nike’s The Opening this week. All the participants in the event will receive gifts for attending, but Taylor and Emerson will need to watch what they bring back, according to The Tennessean.
Over the years Nike has given out shirts, hoodies, shorts, helmets, cleats and gloves among other apparel.
The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association prohibits athletes from bringing home anything that can be used as part of a uniform. So, helmets, gloves and cleats are off limits.
Athletes independently attend regional camps and can attend The Opening in Oregon based on their performances.
“It’s not going to hurt the state,” Taylor told The Tennessean. “Hopefully, the kids in the future will get to keep everything. We earned this.”
One year of ineligibility can be punishment for accepting a forbidden gift.
TSSAA Executive Director Bernard Childress recognizes there may be an issue with the rule and the rule will be examined this summer at the recommendation of TSSAA staff attorney Rick Colbert.
“[Rick] wants us to look at it,” Childress told The Tennessean. “Are we taking that award rule and applying it too broadly? He wants us to take a serious look at it.
“His question was, ‘Why do you care if Nike is giving them this? They are not a member of the TSSAA.'”
A similar rule in Alabama states athletes can only receive up to a total of $50 of gifts.