WR/skier keeping endorsement money

Updated: June 2, 2004, 5:35 PM ET
Associated Press

BOULDER, Colo. -- Colorado receiver Jeremy Bloom plans to enroll in summer school, looking to force a final decision from the NCAA on whether he will be allowed to play football and simultaneously collect endorsement money for his skiing career.

The junior-to-be said he holds out hope that the NCAA will allow him to play football and collect the money he says he needs to pursue his dream of skiing for the United States in the 2006 Olympics.

Bloom took the spring semester off. As soon as Bloom is enrolled, the school is expected to declare him ineligible to play football because he accepted the endorsement money, which violates NCAA rules.

The school must then decide whether to appeal Bloom's case to the NCAA, knowing that he will not repay any endorsement money. Athletes cannot bring their own appeals.

The NCAA allows students to collect money from groups such as the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association.

"What's not allowed for any athlete -- all 360,000 of them -- is the endorsement component," NCAA spokesman Jeff Howard said. "The courts have ruled that what the association is doing is in the best interests of all student-athletes, instead of one."

Bloom and his attorney, Peter Rush, will decide in the next two weeks whether to appeal the case to the Colorado Supreme Court after two lower courts ruled against him.

"It has been hard," Bloom said Tuesday. "I've found out that when you're being denied the right to do something you're passionate about, it's hard not to fight for it to the very end."

He also could seek a trial in Boulder County District Court to challenge NCAA rules.

"I haven't ruled that out," he said.

Meanwhile, Colorado learned Tuesday that former Adams City High School star Lenny Miles wants to transfer to CU from New Mexico, where he was a scholarship basketball player last season. Miles said he will try to make the football and basketball teams in Boulder as a walk-on.

NCAA transfer rules require Miles to sit out one year of basketball, but he would be eligible to play football immediately. He said he would want to play running back and CU's recent scandal was not a concern.

"CU was the only option," Miles said.

Last season's starting tailback, Brian Calhoun, is seeking a scholarship release, though he has refused to rule out playing another season at Colorado.

On the defensive side, the attorney for suspended defensive end Marques Harris said he believes his client will play next season.

Lou Rubino said Harris graduated in May and is working out in hopes of being reinstated by coach Gary Barnett. Harris was suspended in April for violating an unspecified team rule.

Barnett did not offer Harris much hope last week, saying the suspension "is indefinite." Harris was awarded a medical hardship after breaking his leg in the second game of last season.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press