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Rising American Tennis Star Furious Over Rules Preventing Her from Collecting Prize Money

, Rising American Tennis Star Furious Over Rules Preventing Her from Collecting Prize Money

A rising American tennis sensation, Fiona Crawley, is speaking out against the rules that prevented her from collecting a whopping $81,500 in prize money at the US Open. Despite making it through three rounds of qualifying, including winning matches with clutch deciding-set tie-breaks and saving match points, the 21-year-old was beaten in the first round by former world No21 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. However, as an amateur and still competing for the North Carolina Tar Heels in the NCAA, Crawley was forced to forfeit the prize money due to little-known rules.

Up-and-Coming Star Denied Cash Prize

Crawley's impressive performance in the US Open qualifying rounds earned her a spot in the main draw. Unfortunately, her journey came to an end when she was defeated in the first round by Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Nevertheless, the reward for reaching the main draw was a substantial $81,500 in prize money. However, Crawley was unable to claim the cash due to NCAA regulations.

University Athletes Face Financial Restrictions

As an active competitor in the NCAA and the No1 ranked player in the college tennis system, Crawley is subject to NCAA rules. According to these regulations, athletes can only claim prize money if it does not exceed $10,000 per calendar year and comes directly from the event sponsor. Additional prize money can only be used to cover actual and necessary expenses for subsequent events in the same calendar year. Therefore, by accepting the $81,500 prize money, Crawley would have jeopardized her eligibility.

Player Expresses Frustration at NCAA Laws

Crawley expressed her disappointment with the NCAA rules, particularly as other college athletes in sports like football and basketball are able to earn millions through name, image, and likeness (NIL) deals. She stated, "I would never take the money and never risk my eligibility. But I worked my butt off this week, and it seems unreal that there are football and basketball players making millions in NIL deals and I can't take the money that I worked so hard for."

Social Media Outcry

Many fans on social media also voiced their support for Crawley and criticized the NCAA rules. Some described the situation as a "terrible system" and expressed sympathy for the young American's goals. Others called the NCAA rules "ridiculous" and demanded a change. British tennis player Paul Jubb, who faced similar restrictions in 2019 when he missed out on prize money at Wimbledon, understands the frustration that Crawley is experiencing.

It remains to be seen whether the NCAA will review these regulations in response to the growing demand for fair compensation for college athletes.

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