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Saturday, August 14, 2004
Bloom awaits word on NCAA decision

Associated Press

BOULDER, Colo. -- University of Colorado wide receiver Jeremy Bloom has decided to join the U.S. Ski Team for training in Chile as he waits to hear whether the NCAA will allow him to play football while accepting ski endorsements.

Bloom was to leave for Santiago, Chile, on Sunday but said he would return to Boulder if the NCAA rules him eligible.

"If -- and hopefully when -- I get positive news, I'll be on the first flight back from Santiago so I can be back on the field with my football teammates as soon as possible," Bloom said Saturday.

The NCAA bars collegiate athletes from accepting endorsement income, although students can compete professionally in one sport and play at the college level in another.

Previously Bloom has paid for his ski training himself, allowing him to remain eligible for college football. He started accepting endorsements last winter as he prepared for the 2006 Winter Olympics.

Bloom and Colorado have filed a waiver seeking to allow Bloom to continue play college football this season while accepting endorsements, but the NCAA has yet to rule.

Bloom said he told CU teammates and coaches Saturday morning after talking with his parents and ski coaches that he was leaving for Chile.

"Since I had no indication Friday of which way the NCAA will rule and no guarantee that on Monday, if then, that it will rule in my favor, I felt it was important to take advantage of the only summer training camp offered by the U.S. Ski Team," Bloom said in a statement distributed by the university.

Colorado coach Gary Barnett supported Bloom's decision.

"As a parent, I would have advised him to do this, and as a coach, I would have advised the same," Barnett said. "There is only one of these ski camps and there are a lot of football practices."