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Scott Alexander, Stanford's associate director of development for major gifts, is a big reason everything came together so perfectly.
So far, anyway.
"There are a lot of people at Stanford and connected to the university that value the full `scholar-athlete,'" Alexander said. "To me, it's not surprising to have that type of support, and there's no way this gets done without it."
Once Stanford received word from the NCAA that Unterreiner would be allowed to travel via private plane, he made the decision Monday night to accept the generous offer.
Stanford said Unterreiner was unavailable for comment Tuesday because officials with the Rhodes Scholarship requested he not do interviews that could sway an unbiased selection committee.
Unterreiner wanted to be there for his teammates in their final race -- and his last.
"My team and my teammates have given me so much over the last four years that it's really tough for me to let them down at this really important point in the season by not being there," Unterreiner told the San Jose Mercury News. "There's no way I can't go to the national meet."
An All-American in track, his eligibility is already up in that sport. He comes by his running talent naturally as his mom competed in the first U.S. Olympic women's marathon trials in 1984.
Unterreiner earned a bachelor's degree in history with honors this past spring, and is currently working toward his master's.
"This is a great testament to all that Miles has accomplished both academically and athletically, when on the same day that he will be competing on a nationally championship level in athletics he also is a finalist for the most prestigious academic award there is," Cardinal cross country coach Chris Miltenberg said in remarks provided by the school. "That's a testament to how hard he's worked and also the great support he's gotten at Stanford to reach this high level."
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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