INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana University basketball star Steve Alford has been suspended for one game because he allowed his photograph to be used in a sorority calendar that was sold to raise money for charity, Indiana Athletic Director Ralph Floyd said Friday.
The suspension by the National Collegiate Athletic Assn.'s Eligibility Committee means Alford will miss tonight's game against No. 9-ranked Kentucky, Floyd said.
"Alford's picture appeared with 11 other students in a sorority project that was being sold to raise money for a girls' camp in Vancouver, Canada," a school news release said Friday.
"We are extremely disappointed with the ruling of the NCAA Eligibility Committee, but we will abide by the one-game suspension," Floyd said.
Indiana sports information director Kit Klingelhoffer said Alford didn't consult the university's basketball office or sports information office before agreeing to appear in the calendar.
NCAA regulations prohibit athletes from appearing in commercial advertisements and promoting commercial products. Klingelhoffer said the fact that the Gamma Phi Beta calendar is for sale apparently led to the NCAA action.
Alford received no money for appearing in the calendar, school officials said.
"The kid didn't get any money, and the sorority was selling them not to make money but to benefit charity," Klingelhoffer said.
College athletes are allowed to appear in public-service announcements, such as the NCAA anti-drug commercial Alford appeared in last summer, Klingelhoffer said.
Alford, a 6-2 junior guard, scored a career-high 32 points Tuesday night to lead the 19th-ranked Hoosiers past No. 10-ranked Notre Dame, 82-67. In two games this season, Alford is averaging 28 points.
Sam Alford, the player's father and his high school coach, said he was "very upset" by the suspension.
"My initial reaction is very sour. I just don't understand it," he said. "I guess the bottom line is, straight kids are the ones who get shot down. With all the stuff going on in college basketball today, to penalize a kid for something like this makes me very sad," he said.
"As a father, I'm upset. As a coach, I'm upset. And as a dues-paying member of the NCAA for more than 20 years, I'm very upset."
Steve Alford, 21, averaged 10.3 points per game for the 1984 U.S. Olympic basketball team, which Indiana Coach Bob Knight coached to the gold medal in Los Angeles.
He averaged 18.1 points a game for last season's Hoosier team and 15.5 points per game for the 1983-84 Indiana team that advanced to the final game of the NCAA East Regional.
Alford was named Indiana's Mr. Basketball in 1983 after averaging 37.2 points a game as a senior. He set an Indiana high school tournament record with 57 points in a game during his senior year.