Originally created 08/24/04

Committee will decide Bloom's fate



BOULDER, Colo. - Jeremy Bloom should know if his college football career is officially over by tonight.

An NCAA Student-Athlete Reinstatement Committee is scheduled to convene via conference call Tuesday to hear Bloom's final appeal for reinstatement of his college eligibility, Bloom's older brother, Jordan, said Sunday.

The committee is made up of five representatives from schools around the country. Bloom needs only three of the five to vote for reinstatement.

The committee's decision is final unless critical new information is found at a later date, at which time a new appeal could be heard.

Bloom, a wide receiver and punt returner at the University of Colorado, was declared ineligible to play football earlier this year after he signed endorsement contracts with two ski apparel companies to fund his freestyle moguls skiing career.

Bloom is the reigning world champion in freestyle moguls and a 2002 Olympian. He has said he needs the endorsement income to train and remain competitive in the sport. He hopes to earn a gold medal in the 2006 Winter Games in Turin, Italy.

Bloom is training at a ski resort in El Colorado, Chile, where he will take part in the conference call today.

Throughout a two-year battle with the NCAA, the 22-year-old junior has maintained that he should be allowed to fund his skiing career through endorsements because they are unrelated to football.

The NCAA has fought the idea each step of the way because of what it claims is a strict prohibition on student-athletes receiving endorsement money.

However, the Bloom camp was able to uncover a previous case in which the organization allowed an athlete to compete after earning endorsement income.

Jordan Bloom said he received an e-mail describing a similar situation involving a women's basketball player at a West Coast school, and he was attempting to verify the facts of the case late Sunday.

During the hearing. the NCAA, Colorado and Bloom will each receive 10 minutes to make their case for or against reinstatement. Committee members will then be given a chance to ask questions.