Alleged NCAA violation by FAU Basketball’s Richard Morrow puts his eligibility in danger

In April, there was speculation that Richard Morrow would be voluntarily walking away from the FAU basketball program. Now, he may have squandered his final year of eligibility over a red watch and 94-second commercial.

This YouTube video shows Morrow, a shooting guard entering his senior season, wearing a watch from South Florida activewear company How We Move. On the company site, Morrow can be seen in the slider on the homepage endorsing the product.

Morrow puts on a red watch very early in the video. Watches are disallowed on the basketball court in any game setting. He wears one here purely for promotion.

FAU basketball competes in the National Collegiate Athletic Association, a self-governing body with more than 1,000 member institutions. NCAA athletes, like Morrow, aren’t allowed to appear in commercials for outside businesses or any promotions of the sort.

Morrow says a friend of his runs How We Move, and another friend is the videographer who shot the video. “They were looking for someone to use,” he told the UP.

By using himself in a commercial to allegedly promote sales for the company, Morrow has severely jeopardized his eligibility.

There is no evidence that Morrow received any money for his part in the commercial or that he kept either of the two watches seen in the promotional piece. (Six seconds into the video, Morrow picks up a gray watch, then puts it down in favor of the red watch.)

Richard Morrow passing the ball. [Photo by Ryan Murphy]
Richard Morrow passing the ball. [Photo by Ryan Murphy]

According to NCAA Media Relations representative Meghan Durham, student athletes cannot endorse any products while eligible — even if they do it for free.

“A current student-athlete is not permitted to use his name or picture to endorse a commercial product or service, regardless of whether or not he is paid,” Durham said. “If his image or name is used against his knowledge for endorsing a product or service, he would need to take the appropriate steps to send a cease and desist letter, etc.”

Morrow told the UP that no one attempted to stop him from filming the commercial and that he saw Athletic Director Patrick Chun the day that he filmed the commercial, which takes place in the FAU basketball arena.

“We are aware of the video, and we are looking into it,” said Chun. When asked when they found out about the video and what steps were being taken, Chun declined to comment any further.

Morrow, a former walk-on, earned a scholarship after the 2012-2013 season. The Cleveland native is now is danger of losing that scholarship — and he still doesn’t know if he would like to return to the team to play under new head coach Michael Curry.

“I know people will probably be coming to me about it,” Morrow said regarding his decision to come back. “I’m on my own time.”

FAU has a Compliance Department whose sole purpose is to ensure that athletes aren’t putting themselves in danger of becoming ineligible by breaking NCAA rules. The UP reached out to the department several times, but the calls were not returned.

Check back at for more updates.

Broken Rules

The following are the NCAA rules allegedly violated by senior shooting guard Richard Morrow:

“ – Advertisements and Promotions After Becoming a Student-Athlete.

After becoming a student-athlete, an individual shall not be eligible for participation in intercollegiate athletics if the individual:

a)    Accepts any remuneration for or permits the use of his or her name or picture to advertise, recommend or promote directly the sale or use of a commercial product or service of any kind; or

b)    (b) Receives remuneration for endorsing a commercial product or service through the individual’s use of such product or service.”