A new thing that's apparently an NCAA violation? Introducing college athletes to royalty.
Prince Harry of Wales was at the Air Force Academy to help out with the Warrior Games, a series of athletic competitions for wounded British and American soldiers. While there, he had hoped to pick up a little bit of knowledge about American football, and wanted to turn to Troy Calhoun's squad at Air Force. But, of course, this is the NCAA, so it wasn't that easy, per the Colorado Springs Gazette:
Falcons players could not participate because of rules limiting athletes' interactions with celebrities in a team capacity. Similar rules nearly prevented Calhoun from participating, but Air Force applied for a waiver from the NCAA. Even after that, it was unclear just how much access Calhoun would be granted and if the coach would even agree to participate.
Everything worked out. But no Air Force players appear to have cared all that much about the event, based on their Twitter feeds. And these are service academy players. The mascot on the other hand...
Got the opportunity to meet prince harry of Wales today! He won't forget who THE BIRD is!— The bird (@USAFA_bird) May 12, 2013
Also, a two star British general tackled me on a football drill....not cool right? So I tackled him back....— The bird (@USAFA_bird) May 12, 2013
Let's spell this out here: the NCAA has this rule on the books to prevent potential recruits from being swayed from one school to another due to the prospect of meeting celebrities at practice, so they won't let the Prince of Wales -- whom I doubt many college football players would even recognize -- interact with players on a given team on a one-time basis. By the way, I sincerely hope nobody ever signs up up to play football for Air Force -- something that requires mandatory military service after graduation -- due to the off chance they might meet a royal one day.
Also, this happened:
Oh, and how come Air Force can't even practice with a prince, but Rutgers is allowed to employ one? Double standard.