The event known as One More Roar at the Shore sounds a little confusing. As it should. The entire concept is new: A team that isn’t going to a bowl game (Penn State) is going to have a bowl-esque celebration (in Atlantic City), hosted by an outside entity (Rise and Rally) that will charge fans for lodging and food and interaction with former players and current senior players, the latter of whom will be paid
Let’s break it down, starting with NCAA “OK-ness” of the trip because that’s probably been on a lot of people’s minds.
The senior players, says Mark Brennan, whose website Fight On State is helping sponsor the event, will be provided with lodging and food and drink, in exchange for services. These services include autograph sessions and picture sessions. For them, says Brennan, it is technically a work trip.
“The compensation for these guys is for them appearing at the event,” he said. “Not for things they’ve done in the past. It is to show up at the event and hang out with fans.”
Is it OK for an outside entity to do this? Yes, generally speaking, according to the NCAA. A spokesperson said that athletes who have exhausted their eligibility, whether they are still enrolled at the school or not, can do this and even receive occasional nominal benefits from boosters or institutional staff members. The spokesperson would not comment on specific cases.
An exception could arise, according to the NCAA spokesperson, if the institution was actively recruiting a close family member of a former athlete. Then the NCAA would have to make sure the payment/benefit was for a legitimate work purpose.
Obviously it would make a huge difference if a player with eligibility was part of the trip, but Brennan said none have been invited. An underclassmen could technically go if he paid his way, but Brennan said they don’t endorse them attending.
He said Rise and Rally has been in close contact with Penn State, and Penn State confirmed that it had discussions with Rise and Rally. Penn State is also still reviewing the trip, a spokesperson said.
“Not any one specific thing, just everything that has been mentioned in the works from the folks that are organizing it,” the spokesperson said. “We are just reviewing to make sure that everything is OK in terms of all the NCAA and Big Ten rules.”
It is Penn State’s responsibility to keep in check any outside organization that is promoting its athletics program, per Rule 6.4.1 in the NCAA manual. Asked if someone from the athletic department would have to go to Atlantic City to monitor the trip, the spokesperson said Penn State did not know yet.
Only fullback Mike Zordich has formally RSVP’d for One More Roar at the Shore. Brennan said all seniors who have exhausted their eligibility have been invited but none were broached about the subject until after the season’s final game.
The event was hatched months ago. Former Penn State offensive lineman Keith Conlin said he and former Penn State linebacker Tim Sweeney wanted to . Together they host a State College radio program called The Goon Show. It started out as a trip for Penn State fans to possible locations such as Las Vegas or a cruise. They decided on Atlantic City for its proximity to the alumni-filled cities here in the east.
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