For years, many have rallied for collegiate athletes to be compensated for the millions of dollars that they generate for the NCAA, to no avail. Current Houston Texans running back Arian Foster is one who believes college players should be paid, and uses his own experience of taking money to eat while starring for the University of Tennessee a few years ago:
“I don’t know if this will throw us into an NCAA investigation — my senior year, I was getting money on the side,” said Foster. “I really didn’t have any money. I had to either pay the rent or buy some food. I remember the feeling of like, ‘Man, be careful.’ But there’s nothing wrong with it. And you’re not going to convince me that there is something wrong with it.
“There were plenty of times where throughout the month I didn’t have enough for food,” Foster said in the 90-minute documentary. “Our stadium had like 107,000 seats; 107,000 people buying a ticket to come watch us play. It’s tough just like knowing that, being aware of that.
There was a point where we had no food, no money, so I called my coach and I said, ‘Coach, we don’t have no food. We don’t have no money. We’re hungry. Either you give us some food, or I’m gonna go do something stupid.’ He came down and he brought like 50 tacos for like four or five of us. Which is an NCAA violation. [laughs] But then, the next day I walk up to the facility and I see my coach pull up in a brand new Lexus. Beautiful.”
“I’m a firm believer that an employee should get paid for his work,” Foster added. “And, 100 percent, I see student athletes as employees. Hiding from it is just cowardly.”
Foster made the admission during a four-hour interview for a documentary titled Schooled: The Price of College Sports that will air in October.
I believe collegiate athletes indeed deserve to be paid in some way for their efforts, and if the NCAA can’t find a way to fairly regulate the system, then the players should be allowed to seek outside compensation for their individual accomplishments. We’ll see if the system ever changes, because the one currently in place is clearly broken and needs to be revised.
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