BOULDER, Colo. -- Jeremy Bloom's college football career is officially over.
The junior receiver lost a last-ditch effort to keep his college
eligibility Tuesday when an NCAA panel turned down his appeal to be
allowed to receive endorsements as a professional skier and still
play football for Colorado.
"We're all really disappointed, even though we knew going into
today there was only a small chance for reversal,'' Colorado coach Gary Barnett said. "Personally, I'm extremely disappointed in the lack of flexibility by the NCAA. I just hope the next group of youngsters that are out there currently participating in these extreme sports will somehow profit from Jeremy's experience.''
Bloom, the reigning world champion in freestyle moguls and a
2002 Olympian, has been battling the NCAA for two years. He started
accepting endorsements last winter, claiming he can't afford to
prepare for the 2006 Torino Olympics without financial support.
NCAA rules allow athletes to accept salaries as professionals in
other sports, but they aren't allowed to accept money from
sponsors. The NCAA has held firm in its stance, ruling last week
that Bloom willfully violated NCAA rules by accepting endorsements.
Bloom, who is in Chile for a training camp with the U.S.
National Ski Team, appealed the ruling last week, saying he owed it
to himself and his teammates to exhaust all avenues before giving
The five-member NCAA Student-Athlete Reinstatement Committee
turned down the appeal after hearing presentations from Bloom,
Colorado and the NCAA in a conference call. The NCAA did not
release specifics of the decision.
"I'm just disappointed that we weren't able to get this
approved for Jeremy,'' said Lindsey Babcock, Colorado's director of
compliance. "He was tremendous to work with, and did a fantastic
job on the conference call explaining his situation to the
committee. We're sad for him, and all we can do is wish him the
best in his skiing pursuits and in all his endeavors.''
Bloom, 22, was an exciting player for the Buffaloes with his
speed and athleticism, finishing second on Colorado's career list
with five touchdowns of 75 yards or longer. Last year, he returned
44 punts for 625 yards and two touchdowns and returned 24 kickoffs for 589
yards and one touchdown. Bloom also caught 24 passes for 458 yards and two
touchdowns as a sophomore.
Bloom was expected to have a bigger impact this season as one of
just two returning players with a collegiate reception, but the
Buffaloes will have to do without him now. He finished his football
career with 24 receptions for 458 yards, with 625 yards on punt
returns and 627 on kickoffs.