When the paper originally published the story on August 19, many people contacted the paper and Clemson’s athletic department with offers of assistance. However, Clemson compliance director Stephanie Ellison stated the Atlantic Coast Conference initially told the school that McElrathbey was prohibited from receiving any sort of monetary assistance. Ellison said the only option was filing a waiver with the NCAA that would allow for athletic department members and their families to assist McElrathbey by helping with day care, rides to and from school, and other non-monetary support. Such a waiver had only been previously made for athletes involving family deaths. Clemson and the ACC sent the waiver request to the NCAA last week.
The paper reports that the NCAA has approved a waiver that “will allow for a trust fund covering his brother’s normal living expenses.” and that McElrathbey will also be able to take advantage of “university staff and family” to provide transportation and child care for Fahmarr, who is in sixth grade. The NCAA and the ACC were both criticized after the conference initially ruled out the trust fund. Although NCAA rules prohibit athletes from receiving “extra benefits,” it has relaxed its rules to accomodate for McElrathbey’s request.
When McElrathbey learned he had been granted the waiver, he stated, “I knew with all the publicity about it that something had to be done, or it was going to cause some real bad vibes with people,” McElrathbey said Monday night. “Thank God it worked out.”