The old story about a promising athlete visiting a college and coming away with money as a recruiting enticement has a different twist this time. And it's going to take the National Collegiate Athletic Association to straighten it out and determine if football star Jake Young of Lee High School in Midland, Tex., will keep the $2,000 he got for his skill on the basketball court.
Young, a guard, visited Texas Tech this past weekend. He and several other prospects attended the Texas Tech-Texas A&M basketball game, and at halftime, Young discovered that the program he had bought contained a "lucky number."
It entitled him to compete in a halftime shooting contest sponsored by a local bank. He took three shots, the last of which was from midcourt. He made it. That was worth a week's interest on a million dollars -- estimated at more than $2,000.
Now, Tech officials and Young's high school coach, Jack Tayrien, are trying to determine if the award represents an NCAA violation, since it occurred at a school function.
In a preliminary opinion yesterday, Jamie McCloskey of the NCAA said Young would not be able to keep the money if he enrolled at Texas Tech or accepted a basketball scholarship at any school, but likely would be able to keep the money if he chose to play football elsewhere.
McCloskey said that even though Young may have been picked at random to compete in the contest, he was at the game in conjunction with an official recruiting visit and would not have been there unless Texas Tech had paid his way.
Young thinks he should be able to keep the money. "The money didn't come from Tech, it came from that bank," he told the Fort Worth Star Telegram before McCloskey's interpretation. "And I figure since I bought the program with my own money, I should be able to keep it. I don't think Tech has anything to do with it." . . .
The NCAA Committee on Infractions announced that Baylor's men's basketball program had been placed on probation for recruiting violations involving nine current or former team members. The seven players still on the team were declared ineligible for varying periods during this season.
The action prohibits the team from participating in any postseason play this season; only two new recruits will be permitted to receive initial athletically-related financial aid for the 1986-87 academic year; and the program will be limited to a total of 13 scholarships during the 1986-87 and 1987-88 academic years, a reduction of two from current levels.
"I obviously made some mistakes in judgment, and I'm sorry that Baylor is serving a penalty that I was responsible for," former coach Jim Haller said.