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Bloom awaits word on NCAA decision

8/14/2004 - Colorado Buffaloes

BOULDER, Colo. -- University of Colorado wide receiver Jeremy Bloom has decided to join the U.S. Ski Team for training in Chile as he waits to hear
whether the NCAA will allow him to play football while accepting
ski endorsements.

Bloom was to leave for Santiago, Chile, on Sunday but said he
would return to Boulder if the NCAA rules him eligible.

"If -- and hopefully when -- I get positive news, I'll be on the
first flight back from Santiago so I can be back on the field with
my football teammates as soon as possible," Bloom said Saturday.

The NCAA bars collegiate athletes from accepting endorsement
income, although students can compete professionally in one sport
and play at the college level in another.

Previously Bloom has paid for his ski training himself, allowing
him to remain eligible for college football. He started accepting
endorsements last winter as he prepared for the 2006 Winter
Olympics.

Bloom and Colorado have filed a waiver seeking to allow Bloom to
continue play college football this season while accepting
endorsements, but the NCAA has yet to rule.

Bloom said he told CU teammates and coaches Saturday morning
after talking with his parents and ski coaches that he was leaving
for Chile.

"Since I had no indication Friday of which way the NCAA will
rule and no guarantee that on Monday, if then, that it will rule in
my favor, I felt it was important to take advantage of the only
summer training camp offered by the U.S. Ski Team," Bloom said in
a statement distributed by the university.

Colorado coach Gary Barnett supported Bloom's decision.

"As a parent, I would have advised him to do this, and as a
coach, I would have advised the same," Barnett said. "There is
only one of these ski camps and there are a lot of football
practices."