Texas A&M legally paid offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi more than $50,000 to cover an insurance policy that convinced Ogbuehi to forgo the NFL draft and return for his redshirt senior season, according to FoxSports.com.
The Aggies athletic department was able to do so by utilizing a new NCAA rule that allows schools to use money from their Student Assistance Fund to help pay for a certain type of policy. If a player's draft stock falls due to an injury, the policy pays a player the difference between the signing bonus he eventually receives upon being drafted and the potential signing bonus he would've received had the injury not occurred.
Ogbuehi said he likely would have declared for the NFL draft had the school not been able to pay for the insurance policy.
[Justin] Moore, Texas A&M's associate AD for football, told FOX Sports that the school didn't know it could tap into that fund until this year to help with the loss-of-value insurance policy for a case like Ogbuehi's. "I don't think many schools know about it," Moore said Tuesday. "It's a game-changer."
It was for Ogbuehi -- although the Aggies staff had to explain all that to him and his parents. The tab on Ogbuehi could reach $60,000 for Texas A&M, which is a big chunk of the fund; it's also money the player said his parents probably couldn't have paid on their own.
The NCAA limits the amount of money reserved for the Student Assistance Fund, and last year each SEC team allotted $350,000.
Ogbuehi started his career at Texas A&M as a guard but moved to right tackle last season. He'll play left tackle this season, replacing Jake Matthews, the No. 6 pick in the 2014 NFL draft. Ogbuehi is projected as a first-rounder in the 2015 NFL draft, including No. 1 overall by SI.com.
- Ben Estes