This “damn, son, I don’t think I would have said that” observation is making the rounds today:
“I tell my guys all the time,” Stoops says, “you’re not the first one to spend a hungry Sunday without any money.”
Thanks, Coach, for that spoonful of sugar.
And before you get all he’s-got-a-point-there on me, John Infante has your rebuttal.
As a policy matter, Stoops appears to not have considered the counter to his argument. The accusation advanced by groups like the National College Players Association is not that players do not get enough. It is that they are going into the red; that the limits on what a full grant-in-aid can pay for impose a cost on athletes that runs into the tens of thousands of dollars over four or five years. Stipends and full cost-of-attendance scholarships are not about pay-for-play. They are well within the NCAA’s definition of amateurism since they cover actual and necessary expenses of being a student-athlete.
The other problem is the perception of a football coach making $4 million a year telling athletes to suck it up and go hungry. Whenever an institution says their problem is messaging, not what they believe but how they communicate it, the institution is roundly criticized. But it is a serious problem for the NCAA. Many of the people attempting to defend the NCAA’s definition of amateurism and whether it is appropriate in college athletics are doing as much damage as the critics.
Beyond that, don’t forget that one of the reasons schools can afford to pay the likes of Stoops $4 million a year is because they’re paying what they are to the hired help in the name of amateurism. I guarantee you Stoops hasn’t.