Skier feels he owes it to football teammates

Originally Published: August 18, 2004
Associated Press

BOULDER, Colo. -- Colorado wide receiver Jeremy Bloom decided Wednesday to keep fighting the NCAA for the right to accept commercial ski endorsements while playing college football.

Bloom, a world-champion freestyle skier, asked the university to appeal the NCAA's latest ruling that he would be ineligible to play college football if he accepts endorsements.

Bloom has been fighting the NCAA for two years and initially told family members he did not want to go through another appeal after losing another round this week.

"I do plan on going through with the final appeal. I owe it to my teammates, my coaches, and myself, to fight this until the end," Bloom said in a statement from Santiago, Chile, where he is training with the U.S. Ski Team.

School officials said earlier they already had appealed the ruling, but apparently decided against it when Bloom declined. On Wednesday, the school filed the appeal after hearing from Bloom again.

An NCAA committee consisting of five administrators from NCAA schools across the country was expected to hear the appeal in a conference call next week, said Lindsey Babcock, CU's director of compliance.

Bloom would have until Sept. 6 -- two weeks after the start of classes -- to re-enroll, Babcock said. Colorado's first game is Sept. 4 against Colorado State in Boulder.

Bloom has said he can't afford to pursue his skiing career without commercial endorsements to pay for his training.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press