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By Danielle Rideau
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday, October 3, 2005
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Bylaw allows UA to pay for Polk's funeral

An NCAA bylaw allowed the university to foot the bill for UA women's basketball center Shawntinice Polk's funeral yesterday in her hometown of Hanford, Calif.

Polk died Sept. 23 after collapsing in McKale Center after a blood clot traveled from one of her legs to her lungs and caused cardiac arrest, said Dr. Eric Peters, Pima County's deputy chief medical examiner.

The university is allowed to pay for Polk's funeral and expenses because of NCAA bylaw 16.6.1.3, which states the university may pay for an athlete's teammates and friends travel arrangements "in situations in which a student-athlete suffers a life-threatening injury or illness, or, in the event of a student-athlete's death, to provide these expenses in conjunction with funeral arrangements," according to the association Web site.

A viewing and funeral services were held in the gymnasium of Hanford High School and followed by a gravesite ceremony at Hanford Cemetery, said Sharon Hendrix, office manager at Jesse E. Cooley Jr. Funeral Service, in Fresno, Calif.

The athletics department paid for the funeral, which included flowers, hearse and casket, death certificate, a musician and minister, and transportation for the family, Hendrix said.

Total cost estimates are $7,500, but she could not confirm an exact amount, Hendrix said.

The athletics department was unavailable for comment.



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