Clemson official says Watkins bowl status not in jeopardy after appearing on party flier
CLEMSON – A Clemson official said the team expects star freshman receiver Sammy Watkins to be eligible for the Jan. 4 Orange Bowl. Watkins’ name appeared on a Christmas party flier for a Florida restaurant, a violation of NCAA rules.
Watkins and three other college players are listed "hosts" on an ad for the "Naughty or Nice X-Mas Party," scheduled for Dec. 23 at The Firepit Grill in Fort Myers, Fla., Watkins' hometown. The NCAA prohibits student-athletes from endorsing or promoting off-campus revenue-generating events or businesses.
Clemson spokesperson Tim Bourret said the university’s compliance office sent a cease-and-desist notice to the Florida restaurant.
"We fully expect Sammy Watkins to play," Bourret said. "We asked them to take (the fliers) down and they did. You wouldn't expect every restaurant in American to know it was a rules violation."
Marcus Price, who helped promote the party, told WLTX television that Watkins and three other players were not paid for appearing on the ad.
The NCAA told several media outlets it is looking into the matter.