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Cedric Benson Quits Baseball


Administrator Emeritus
From CollegeSports.com:

Texas Running Back Quits Baseball
Cedric Benson focuses on football as he returns for his senior season.

March 5, 2004

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas running back Cedric Benson gave up pro baseball for football, choosing to stay with the Longhorns for his senior year.

The Los Angeles Dodgers drafted Benson in the 12th round as an outfielder in 2001 and were paying for his education. Now he'll go on a football scholarship at Texas.

His decision was first reported by The Dallas Morning News.

"I want 2004 to be my best year ever and that's why I've decided to give up baseball and concentrate solely on football," Benson said. "I still believe I could be successful in baseball, but my heart is pushing me towards football."

Benson played with the Dodgers' rookie league club in Vero Beach, Fla., before his freshman and sophomore years at Texas. Benson, who has earned more than $100,000 playing baseball, didn't play for the rookie league club last summer, choosing to work out in Austin and focus on football. He acknowledged then the Dodgers weren't happy with him.

"Cedric already has a place among the best running backs in Texas history and he is really working hard to build on that," Texas coach Mack Brown said. "We talked about his giving up baseball and concentrating solely on football and I told him I was supportive of any decision he made."

Benson, who rushed for 1,360 yards and 21 touchdowns in 2003, considered leaving school early to enter the NFL draft. He's only the third Longhorn back to rush for 1,000 yards in three seasons.

Benson's 3,706 career yards ranks behind only Heisman Trophy winners Ricky Williams (6,279) and Earl Campbell (4,443) at Texas. His 45 career rushing TDs ranks second behind Williams (72) on the school list.

OK, how come it is OK for Benson to earn 100 LARGE and still play CFB, but the kid at Colorado (the name eludes me at the moment) isn't allowed to make money skiing (and from endorsements) while he attempts to make the Olympic team?
Here's the story on Colorado player & world class skier Jeremy Bloom:

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — Jeremy Bloom, the Colorado wide receiver and World Cup skier, has signed his first two endorsement deals since the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Six weeks after challenging the NCAA's rules on endorsement money, Bloom reached agreements with Under Armour for performance clothing and Bolle for eye wear, including goggles and sunglasses.

For the past two years, Bloom has played football for Colorado while competing on the World Cup moguls ski circuit with the goal of competing in the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy.

NCAA rules prevent him from accepting endorsement money while playing football. Bloom said in January he needed money to continue his ski training and would begin to sign endorsement deals, in defiance of the NCAA.

"These two agreements will help me fund my ski career through 2006," Bloom said.

He said the NCAA would have to declare him ineligible to play football to stop him. The NCAA has given no timetable on when it may issue a ruling.

Last month, Bloom reached an advertising deal with the Equinox Fitness Club chain that is expected to include billboards in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles and ads in prominent magazines.

The deal is not considered an endorsement agreement, however. Bloom decided not to take any compensation to avoid running afoul of the NCAA after the ads inadvertently referred to him as an NCAA athlete, said his agent, Andy Carroll.

Bloom had endorsed Under Armour products before enrolling in college.

Under Armour vice president Ryan Wood said the company was pleased to resume the relationship, praising Bloom's "world-class talents, commitment, work ethic and performance."

Bolle plans to make Bloom part of its 2005 national print advertising campaign and use him in in-store materials and appearances.
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