Emily Scheck, a cross-country runner at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, was cut out of her family’s lives after her mother found a photo of the girl she was dating. Scheck’s father went so far as to drive to Buffalo from Rochester with all her belongings, remove the license plates from her car and fill the automobile with all her belongings that were at home with a note that she was never to speak with the family or her siblings again.
Scheck’s friends launched a GoFundMe campaign which raised approximately $25,000 for her living expenses.
Wrote the campaign: “To stay in school, Emily works two jobs: one at Wegmans and the other, a work study job on campus. She is on her way to declaring herself an independent and hard working individual but has been struggling to support herself while completing schoolwork and competing at a high level. All the working, running, and school assignments leave Emily no time to actually be a kid in college. Emily has no home, and has no family supporting her. In 2019, she will no longer be on her parents health care plan and will have a whole new set of expenses to be covered. She was kicked out of her home for being herself. No one deserves to have their home and siblings taken away from them for being their true selves. Though she has made a new home in Buffalo through her teammates and her girlfriend, Justyna, we can no longer stand by and do nothing.”
Now the NCAA says that she must give all the money back or lose eligibility, Outsports reports: “She said she was contacted by an NCAA compliance officer at Canisius College and told she had two options, per his communication with the NCAA: Return every penny and maintain her NCAA eligibility, or keep the money and leave the cross-country team.She said the school offered to try to find some way to work with the NCAA to then raise some money all over again, but there were no guarantees. She claims lawyers were going to have to get involved, and there was no assurance she’d come out the other side of it with a penny.”
Canisius College is standing by the NCAA: “After a review by the College’s compliance staff, and following consultation with the NCAA, it was determined that the online crowdfunding webpage was organized and promoted in a manner not permitted under NCAA legislation. Canisius informed the student-athletes that it would be necessary to end the online fundraising effort and work with the website host to return the donations received in order to preserve the student-athlete’s eligibility.”