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Archive for Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Miami, NCAA discuss possible rules violation

November 26, 2002

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— No. 1 Miami and the NCAA are trying to determine if center Brett Romberg's "friendly wager" with a radio talk show host earlier this season violated NCAA rules, athletic director Paul Dee said Monday.

According to talk show host Paul Castronovo of WZTA-Miami, he and Romberg made a bet before the Hurricanes' Sept. 7 game against Florida. If the Gators won, Romberg and his fellow offensive linemen would don Gators jerseys for a picture that would appear on the station's web site. If the Hurricanes won, Castronovo, a University of Florida graduate, would take the linemen to dinner.

Romberg called Castronovo the next day and informed him that it would be an NCAA violation for the radio host to take them to dinner, so they altered the bet to make it dinner at Castronovo's house.

Miami beat Florida 41-16, but Castronovo said he hasn't provided the players with any meals.

"The whole thing was a joke, and nothing has happened," Castronovo said. "There has been no NCAA infraction. It was just a gentleman's thing. It was more fodder for radio fun than anything else."

According to NCAA rules, student-athletes are not allowed to solicit or accept a bet on any intercollegiate competition for any item that has tangible value, including money, clothing or dinners. Repeated calls to the NCAA were not returned.

Romberg, a fifth-year senior, is a regular guest on the morning show, and he and Castronovo have jokingly referred to the bet on several subsequent interviews.

Miami officials said it became an issue when someone placed an anonymous call to the NCAA to disclose the wager. Dee released a statement Monday, and Romberg could not be reached for comment.

"A question has arisen as to whether any part of that conversation violated any NCAA rule," Dee said. "The University is currently in conversations with the NCAA with regard to these issues."

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