What's Buzzing:

The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

Birthday discount is the reason the NCAA suspended New Mexico’s Jamal Fenton

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

View photo

.

Jamal Fenton (getty images)

Had New Mexico guard Jamal Fenton known an Albuquerque hotel was giving him a $250 discount on the ballroom he was renting for his 21st birthday, he insists he wouldn't have accepted it.

Instead, Fenton accepted the ballroom at the reduced rate of $500 rather than $750 last April, landing him in hot water with the NCAA.

The NCAA suspended Fenton last week for three games for a minor violation of NCAA rules, but the reason for the penalty was not initially disclosed. In response to an open records request filed by the Albuquerque Journal, New Mexico then released documents to the local media revealing the birthday party was the culprit.

"If I would have known the real price, I still would have got it because money wasn't the issue," Fenton said in one of the documents released to the Journal. "I had no idea I was getting a good price on the ballroom because this was my first time ever throwing a party in a ballroom and the price she gave me already sounded like a lot."

[More NCAA basketball: The most celebrated technical foul in college hoops (video)]

A sales representative at the hotel corroborated Fenton's claim that he did not ask for a discount but confirmed the hotel lowered the price for the ballroom because it was a New Mexico student-athlete seeking to rent it. That's an automatic penalty in the eyes of the NCAA because it's an extra benefit a typical student would not receive.

By NCAA rules, any extra benefit from $100 to $300 requires a three-game suspension, a harsh penalty considering the offense, yet at least one the organization has been consistent about enforcing. Fenton also had to pay the money back to a charity of his choice.

According to a New Mexico spokesman, Fenton donated $400 to the UNM Children's Hospital during the summer when the NCAA initially ruled he had received a $400 impermissible benefit.  The NCAA later altered its stance and ruled the impermissible benefit was $250, but Fenton left his donation as is.

Fenton, a 5-foot-9 senior who averaged 6.5 points and 2.4 assists last season, will sit out New Mexico's opener against Davidson and two games during the Paradise Jam. That's costly for New Mexico because those are difficult nonconference games, but the Lobos do have a wealth of depth at guard to make up for Fenton's absence.

(Thanks, Eye on College Basketball)

Fantasy football advice on Yahoo! Sports:

Other popular content on the Yahoo! network:
Fantasy video: Eagles QB Michael Vick poised to break out in Week 9
Chris Paul grew tired of waiting for Dwight Howard
Hoosiers on track for BCS bowl – seriously
Y! Shine: See this mom's excuse for skipping out on tip

View Comments (879)
  • Iowa lawmakers: Cyclones games not perks

    Tickets to Iowa State men's basketball games were hard to land for Cyclones' fans this year, but they were easier for one group: legislators being entertained by University President Steven Leath. Ten lawmakers accepted invitations to sit with … More »

    AP - Sports - 5 minutes ago
  • Murray, Nadal to meet in Madrid semis

    Murray, Nadal to meet in Madrid semis

    Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal will meet again in the semifinals of the Madrid Open on Saturday, a rematch of last year's final won by the British player. The second-ranked Murray defeated Tomas Berdych 6-3, 6-2 on Friday to make the last four for … More »

    AP - Sports - 13 minutes ago
  • Byron Scott still rues not playing his Laker veterans more

    Byron Scott still rues not playing his Laker veterans more

    The coach, who was let go in April, thinks that playing Brandon Bass and Lou Williams could have saved his job. … More »

    Ball Don't Lie - 14 minutes ago
  • Cycling-Road-Giro d'Italia points classification after stage 1

    May 6 (Infostrada Sports) - Points Classification Giro d'Italia after Stage 1 on Friday 1. Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands / Giant) 15 2. Primoz Roglic (Slovenia / LottoNL) 12 3. Andrey Amador (Costa Rica / Movistar) 9 4. Tobias Ludvigsson (Sweden / … More »

    Reuters - 15 minutes ago
  • Cycling-Road-Giro d'Italia classification after stage 1

    May 6 (Infostrada Sports) - Classification from Giro d'Italia after Stage 1 on Friday 1. Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands / Giant) 11:03" 2. Primoz Roglic (Slovenia / LottoNL) ST 3. Andrey Amador (Costa Rica / Movistar) +6" 4. Tobias Ludvigsson (Sweden / … More »

    Reuters - 16 minutes ago