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NCAA Regulations Stop Lewisboro Teen From Owning Business

Lewisboro teen Andrew Duffy, left, had recently started up a new business but he has since had to shut it down for fear of breaking NCAA rules.
Lewisboro teen Andrew Duffy, left, had recently started up a new business but he has since had to shut it down for fear of breaking NCAA rules. Photo Credit: Courtesy Andrew Duffy

LEWISBORO, N.Y. -- A few months after graduating from the Katonah-Lewisboro School District, Andrew Duffy was working on starting up his own company.

But Duffy, a 2013 graduate of John Jay High School, was recently advised by his college coach at SUNY-Cortland to shut down his business of stringing lacrosse sticks, fearing it may impact the incoming freshman's NCAA eligibility.

"I'm bummed out a little," said Duffy. "But with all the things going on with the NCAA and Johnny Manziel, I really didn't want to take any chances with my eligibility."  [The eligibility of Manziel, the Texas A&M quarterback and last year's Heisman Trophy winner, is under question because of reports he took money for autographs in January.] Duffy launched "Top Knotch" last fall. The small company, which he operated out of his home, specializes in stringing lacrosse sticks. Duffy customizes the sticks depending on the position a person plays. According to NCAA rules, student-athletes are not permitted to benefit financially from a business involving the sport they play.

"I'm just going to enjoy my college career and not have to worry about the other stuff," said Duffy, who will play mid-fielder and attack for SUNY-Cortland. "When I finish college, I can start the business back up again." Duffy recently expanded  the operation by selling  T-shirts and other apparel. However, it's been put on hold until Duffy exhausts his NCAA eligibility at SUNY-Cortland.

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