Kevin Ware is a name we know for one main unfortunate reason, and it has nothing to do with his basketball play on the court. Ware was the victim of a freak, and terrible leg injury (the video if you’re interested, though I wouldn’t recommend it) during the NCAA tournament that basically left his leg in two pieces. However, after surgery, Ware is on the road to recovery, and has received an immense amount of support from around the country that was documented by Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports.
The sophomore guard has been piled with letters and notes to the point where he has a person in the University Of Louisville’s office dedicated to handling and organizing the plethora of things being sent Ware’s way. Some supporters have taken it a step further, and have sent Ware gifts as a kind gesture. One problem: many of these gifts violate NCAA policy and cannot be accepted. Forde lists some of the gifts that have been returned or used for other purposes:
A significant amount of the mail has been flagged for Return to Sender by Louisville’s compliance office because it violates NCAA rules. That stuff is in a separate bin, in a different room.
Gift cards for iTunes, restaurants and bookstores must go back. The box of T-shirts that read “Be Ware The Cards” on the front and “United Cards 5″ on the back will be shipped to the Daniel Pitino Shelter for homeless women and children in Owensboro, Ky. The guy who sent his business card, offering to cut endorsement deals for Ware, will not get through. Neither will the bags of herb coffee.
The cash must be returned, too. Plenty of people stuck small bills in greeting cards. Audrey from Louisville sent a dollar in a Get Well Soon card with a teddy bear on the front.
“The dollar is because I was raised well,” Audrey wrote, “and I don’t want the NCAA rules to come into play.”
They do. Even for a dollar.
In an interview about the article that he wrote that will be embedded at the bottom of this post, Forde says that Ware was sent dog toys by a supporter which could not be accepted per NCAA policy. The toys were for Ware’s baby pitbull named Scar, who Ware got after his surgery and symbolically named after the giant scar on his leg, Forde explained.
Just like the NCAA to ruin an innocent kind gesture. While I understand the nature of the rule, and even the reasoning behind denying Ware the dog toys, rules were also made to have exceptions. Sometimes, you have to let common sense take precedence over rule books. But either way, it’s great to see the support for Ware, and in reading Forde’s piece, it seems that the young man is in high spirits.
Let’s hope this is just a minor chapter in Ware’s journey as a person, and basketball player.
By: Frank Santos
Here is the interview with Forde about his piece: