A 23-year-old fan named Cameron Rodriguez hit a half-court shot for $20,000 at an Oklahoma City Thunder game on Nov. 18, one of an unfathomable five fans to complete the feat in a 22-game stretch at Chesapeake Energy Arena, including two in back-to-back games.
Unfortunately, Rodriguez may not get to keep his haul, which he earned fair and square by sinking the shot below, because he’s a college athlete.
Rodriguez is a basketball player at Southwestern College in Winfield, Kan. The Moundbuilders play at the NAIA level, and, according to Bloomberg, the school is now asking for a rules exception for Rodriguez that would allow the sophomore to keep the money and put it toward his tuition.
The NAIA student guide states that any athlete who “exploits” his or her fame or abilities “for remuneration” is considered a professional and would lose amateur standing.
The NCAA makes an exception for prize money won in promotions for which an athlete was chosen at random, however it’s not known whether a similar exception will be made for Rodriguez.