Courtney Paris' $64,000 Gamble Brings Big Bucks to OU

Dabney BaileyContributor IApril 6, 2009

ST. LOUIS - APRIL 05:  Courtney Paris #3 of the Oklahoma Sooners looks to pass as Candyce Bingham #13 of the Louisville Cardinals defends during the Women's Final Four Semifinals on April 5, 2009 at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

When star hooper Courtney Paris told the world that she would return her scholarship money if her University of Oklahoma Sooners women’s basketball team does not win the NCAA championship, the world listened.

And this extra attention is exactly what has earned the University more money than the worth of Paris’ scholarship, which is estimated at $64,000.

Paris put much at stake with her promise, and the gamble proved to have dire repercussions for her personally when the Sooners lost to Louisville in Sunday’s game, but the University of Oklahoma has already gained more than ever.

The mere presence of Courtney Paris and her twin sister Ashley had been responsible for bringing impressive revenue to OU; attendance at Lady Sooners games has doubled since the arrival of Courtney, who is now a senior. But now Oklahoma enjoys another increase in national popularity with Courtney's daring resolution.

Days before the Sooner loss forced Paris to face the prospect of returning the money, senior associate athletics director Gloria Navarez stated that due to the extra revenue Paris has already earned OU, the university is not remotely concerned with regaining the scholarship funds.

In reality, giving the initial $64,000 scholarship to Paris has left OU with the better end of the bargain.

After Sunday’s loss, Paris quickly reaffirmed that she plans to pay back the money. It is evident that it will not be the school that keeps Courtney to her promise, but Paris’ own moral compass.

In any event, Paris’ integrity will linger in the minds of fans and continue to improve the image of the university from which she hails.