CONNERSVILLE, Ind. (WISH) - Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay can help Matt Howard's family get to Texas to watch the Butler star play in the Final Four after all.
Butler officials previously told Irsay that NCAA rules prohibited him from flying the Howards to Houston. But, according to an email from the NCAA, Irsay can, however, donate to the fund raising efforts in Connersville.
On Tuesday, Irsay tweeted his interest in flying the family of 12 down so they could watch the game.
"Regrettably, my friend Mark Allen at Butler says NCAA rules prohibit me from flying the Howard family down 2 Houston..BUMMER,u guys agree?" Irsay tweeted Wednesday morning.
All was sorted out Wednesday afternoon when he tweeted "Ok,I am allowed to contribute to the Connersville fund for the Howards..so The Wolf is headed there now!!"
Butler forward Matt Howard's entire family is getting ready for their second Final Four run, but it isn't exactly easy one for the family of 12. Tickets are tough to get, and following a basketball star is expensive.
Brian's Book Store and Coffee Bar, 408 N. Central Ave. in Connersville, is collecting donations for the Howard family. As of Tuesday night, roughly $3,000 was raised. Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay also wants to help. He said Tuesday night he wants to fly Matt Howard's parents to Houston for the Final Four. The Colts and Howards were working to ensure Irsay's gesture doesn't violate any NCAA rules.
Howard's father, Stan, is staying busy at work leading up to the big game. He's a postman in Connersville and says delivering mail gives him the chance to reflect on his son's wild basketball success.
"We all have wild dreams, we just don't all think they'll come to pass," Stan Howard said.
People along Stan Howard's mail route are happy to see him. Some of them are handing back letters and donations to help the family get to Houston.
Stan Howard is humble. He says he's only called out sick once in 33 years.
"I do the best I can. I don't do the right thing every time. Just like he fouls sometimes, I drop a piece of mail. But by golly I'm busting my tail," Stan Howard said.
Stan says he taught Matt how to work hard.
"I'm not proud, just thankful, because that's the Butler way," Stan Howard said.
There will also be a parade on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. starting off at the Methodist Church in downtown Connersville and ending at the bookstore.
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