Rethinking Gifts Rules

June 28, 2017

The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association (TSSAA) does not allow athletes to accept gifts from apparel companies during combines and other special events if they want to maintain their eligibility. Currently, the Association has decided to revisit these rules.

According to The Tennessean, Bernard Childress, Executive Director of the TSSAA, said Rick Colbert, the TSSAA's staff attorney, asked him to take another look at the rules and determine if they were still needed.

"(Colbert's) question was, 'Why do you care if Nike is giving them this? They are not a member of the TSSAA,” Childress said.

Ryan Sulkowksi, coach for Coffee County High School, said he could not understand why athletes were not allowed to take home what they were given by Nike, saying that it was a “third-party deal” that should not run afoul of the rules.

"We haven't changed, but high school football has changed,” Sulkowski said. “I respect Bernard and the job he does. I respect the governing body. But we need to be more proactive."

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