A couple of days ago, New Mexico’s senior backup point guard, Jamal Fenton was suspended for the teams’ first 3 games for an NCAA violation that was not announced at the time.
The Albuquerque Journal released a story yesterday on Fenton’s violation of NCAA rules.
The violation occurred when Fenton rented out a ballroom at an Albuquerque Marriott (UNM booster) for his 21st birthday. According to the journal, Fenton was given a $250 discount by the hotel, for the room.
Fenton had no idea he was given the discount and said “Not knowing I already got the discount, it seemed like a good price for me”. Fenton was referring to the $500 price he was offered, when any other public person would be charged $750.
However, Fenton did not know he was getting a discount, so he took the ballroom for $500. When finding out he had been given a discount, Fenton had said that if he had known he was getting a discount he wouldn’t have took it because money wasn’t a problem.
Even with Fenton not knowing about the discount, it is still a minor violation of NCAA rules and he will be forced to sit out 3 games for the Lobos. In addition to the suspension Fenton will have to pay the extra $250 to a charity of his choice.
Fenton chose to donate the money to a UNM children’s hospital and he gave the hospital $150 more than he had too.
The University and Fenton have attempted to appeal the suspension to the NCAA by saying he was not looking for a discount and did not know about it. The NCAA immediately denied the university’s appeal this past week.
Fenton paying the children’s hospital the money he got discounted should have been enough of a penalty. As he didn’t know that he was getting a discount, and later paid off the extra money, he should not have to sit out 3 games.
Although Fenton will be unable to play in the Lobos first 3 games, he is still allowed to practice and travel with the team.
Fenton, a fan favorite for New Mexico, will definitely still have Lobo nation supporting him, even though he is hurting the team.