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NCAA says South Carolina cookies cakes were not a violation, brands get involved

I hope you got your cookie puns in while you had the chance.

Great American Cookies Applauds NCAA Ruling in Favor of Icing
Great American Cookies Applauds NCAA Ruling in Favor of Icing
(PRNewsFoto/Great American Cookies)

Last week South Carolina self-reported 22 potential NCAA infractions that occurred during the previous year. We now know that the Gamecocks have been cleared of wrongdoing in at least one of them.

As reported by ESPN, the specific rule that South Carolina believed itself to be in violation of was NCAA bylaw, governing activities during official visits.

An institution may not arrange miscellaneous, personalized recruiting aids (e.g., personalized jerseys, personalized audio/video scoreboard presentations) and may not permit a prospective student-athlete to engage in any game-day simulations (e.g., running onto the field with the team during pregame introductions) during an official visit. Personalized recruiting aids include any decorative items and special additions to any location the prospective student-athlete will visit (e.g., hotel room, locker room, coach's offices, conference room, arena) regardless of whether the items include the prospective student-athlete's name or picture.

It's kind of a stretch to see how this prohibition would extend to baked goods, iced or no. The only phrase that seems like it might possibly apply is "decorative items and special additions." It's a turn of phrase so ill-considered that it makes one shudder to think how great an impact these rules can have on the lives of student-athletes.

Of course, it was unlikely that any severe punishment was ever going to come of this. Still, it's good to see the NCAA show a rare sense of awareness regarding the mood of the public.

Noticing how much attention this story was getting, Great American Cookies® cleverly thought to send the NCAA® a dozen cookies thanking the NCAA "for listening to its sweet tooth."