Two University of Maryland women's lacrosse players who were suspended by the National Collegiate Athletic Association last week for appearing in promotional photographs for a clothing store were reinstated yesterday in time for tomorrow's NCAA tournament semifinals.
Kim Terhorst and Chris Macko, both juniors, were reinstated by the NCAA a little more than a week after the photographs appeared in a fashion supplement of the campus paper The Diamondback.
Their reinstatement -- after the players missed two scrimmages this week that satisfied the NCAA -- allows the two to play in the second-ranked Terrapins' semifinal against New Hampshire in Ewing, N.J.
The university removed the two defensive starters from the team and notified the NCAA after the photographs appeared in the May 8 paper, said Maryland Senior Associate Athletic Director Sue Tyler. Neither player received compensation for the photos, nor realized the photos would be promoting the off-campus store -- violating NCAA rules -- until they appeared in the paper.
"From the moment we discovered the violations, we followed the proper procedures," Tyler said. "I know there never was a conscious decision to break the rules."
Rick Jaklitsch, the attorney who represented the women, said both players asked the photographer when the pictures were taken whether they would have any problems.
"They were told it was no problem because other athletes did it," Jaklitsch said. "The problem is that the other athletes didn't have any eligibility left."
A court injunction was being prepared just before the NCAA's reinstatement ruling was received by the school yesterday. After being reinstated the players left by bus with the rest of the team for New Jersey.
"These women made an inadvertent mistake and the institution applied the rules and appealed to the NCAA," Dr. Tyler said. "We're all happy it's over, and that the student athletes can compete."
Terhorst is seventh on the team in scoring with six goals and nine assists this season and plays defense and midfield. Macko is considered the fastest defender on the team, which goes into tomorrow's game with a 13-2 record.