Player expected to be cleared by Tulsa game

Updated: August 23, 2003, 1:17 PM ET

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Arkansas tackle Shawn Andrews was among 24 top college football players who unknowingly committed a secondary NCAA infraction when they accepted a few knickknacks from a Florida nutritional supplement company last spring.

The NCAA notified 21 schools whose players attended the Playboy All-American awards and photo weekend in Phoenix in May that their players might have accepted unapproved gifts.

The Southeastern Conference then informed Arkansas officials Thursday on how to proceed with the paperwork to clear Andrews, said assistant athletic director Kevin Trainor.

The paperwork is to be sent to the NCAA on Monday, and the association is expected to clear Andrews, as it has for others. Arkansas officials expect an OK before the Sept. 6 season opener against Tulsa.

Andrews said he accepted a water bottle and T-shirt from the company. He later returned the water bottle, which was valued at 50 cents, and said he will pay $10 for the T-shirt.

"I really didn't want the stuff anyway," Andrews said. "I had no idea that it was against the rules."

NCAA rules allow athletes to receive up to $300 worth of goods on such awards trips. Playboy arranged for less than $100 in gifts to go to each All-American player, but one of the event sponsors, MetRx of Boca Raton, Fla., also delivered its own gift bag to the players.

At the awards weekend, the players received approved gift bags that included a T-shirt, a baseball cap, a bronze medallion engraved with the player's name, a football autographed by all of the All-Americans and a sports bag, according to Playboy sports editor Gary Cole.

MetRx delivered gift bags to players' hotel rooms without permission, Cole said. The MetRx bag contained a towel, water bottle, two T-shirts and a compact disc, among other items. It was worth $38.50, Cole said. When the MetRx gift bag showed up in the hotel rooms, the players had no way of knowing they weren't allowable under NCAA rules.

MetRx could not be reached for comment during the business week, and the office was closed Saturday.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index