SEATTLE -- University of Washington basketball guard
Nate Robinson will return a Chicago Bears jersey given to him by a
former Huskies football player because accepting it may have been
an NCAA violation.
Terry Johnson gave one of his Bears' jerseys to Robinson, a
junior who is the leading scorer for the Huskies (No. 12 ESPN/USA Today; No. 13 AP), after
the basketball team's Pac-10 victory Saturday at Arizona State. As
a freshman, Robinson played on the Washington football team with
"I'll definitely give it back," Robinson told reporters before
Tuesday's practice. "It was just a slight misunderstanding with
the NCAA and everything. I've known Terry for three years.
"He's been my friend," Robinson said. "We've been talking a
whole bunch. Every since I was a freshman, he's been telling me he
would give me a jersey once he made it to the NFL. He gave it to me
as a friendship bond, but now I'm going to give it back."
The school advised Robinson to return the jersey but officials
said they weren't sure if it was a violation.
"It's kind of a gray area," Washington athletics spokesman Dan
Lepse said. "We decided it's better to eliminate any appearance of
impropriety and return the jersey. It's simpler to return it."
Robinson said he wanted to stay within the rules.
He said he will be allowed to accept the jersey from Johnson
after he leaves school. He considered leaving the Huskies after his
sophomore season to enter the NBA draft, but decided to stay at
Washington for at least this season. He hasn't said if he plans to
return next year.
Coach Lorenzo Romar said Tuesday that athletic director Todd
Turner had reviewed the gift.
"Rules are in place for a reason," Romar said.
Robinson, son of former Washington star running back Jacque
Robinson, is averaging 16.7 points this season. He scored 23 points
to lead the Huskies to a 79-70 victory over Arizona State on
Saturday as they moved back into a tie for first place in the
conference at 7-2 with Arizona (No. 13 ESPN/USA Today; No. 14 AP). The Huskies are 17-3