“I’m a firm believer that an employee should get paid for his work.”

I’m not surprised by what Arian Foster said about getting paid while at Tennessee.  I’m only surprised that more players haven’t told similar stories after the fact.

The NCAA can hug itself as closely as it likes in the mantle of amateurism that it’s weaved, but it’s hard for student-athletes to appreciate it when they get smacked in the face by imagery like this:

“… 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 not advocating paying players here.  But I sure can see how the current set up can be hard to swallow.

At least Tennessee’s current players can take comfort in the sympathy shown by Dave Hart.

“We can’t speak to something that allegedly happened a long time ago,” Dave Hart, Tennessee vice chancellor and athletic director, said in a statement. “What we can say is that the values and priorities of our athletics department and football program are aligned, and the constant education of our student-athletes regarding the rules and the consequences of their choices is of the highest priority.”

Let them eat cake, Knoxville-style.  The kids may go hungry on occasion, but at least they’ll know why.



Filed under The NCAA

16 responses to ““I’m a firm believer that an employee should get paid for his work.”

  1. Andrew

    Football players may deserve some pay, but Arian isn’t helping. They don’t go hungry or miss paying their rent. There’s a stipend to cover both of those. Now maybe food and rent aren’t enough, and that’s the important conversation. But Foster is FOS about going hungry and getting evicted. He should have just said “yea I got paid and I deserved it bc I made UT lots of money.” This just gives the old school guys more ammo and clouds the argument.


    • W Cobb Dawg

      Agree. And Hart chimes in with the typical b.s. like “our values and priorities”, and “constant education of student athletes”, blah, blah, blah…

      Truth is, nobody, and I mean nobody, is surprised ut was paying Foster.


  2. TennesseeDawg

    I guess all those tacos is why he ran for half as many yards his senior year


  3. piper

    no dining halls in knoxville apparently


  4. Scorpio Jones, III

    I find Foster’s story hard to believe…can you imagine a Fulmer player not being able to get a BBQ sandwich…Hell I just assumed they passed out Calhoun’s fare at the water breaks, Phil and Chief sure looked like they never missed brunch.


  5. AthensHomerDawg

    “Just another instance where college football’s elite are making the system work for them, and it is all well within the rules. Athletes get 10 meals a week with their scholarships, not including the team meals for traveling to and from games. Five of those meals are the truly engineered training table meals. The others are also largely eaten at the football or athlete cafeteria.

    To supplement the other meals necessary, players are given meal checks. Essentially a per diem to grab lunch, weekend and off-day meals when the football cafe is not serving food. That per diem number varies from school to school, but as you can imagine, the more a school can give, the more they will.

    As Alabama points out, non-athletes are welcome to dine at the training table as well, you just have to pay. In the case of Bryant Sports Grill, it is an additional $9.75 atop your normal meal plan dinner rate. So, while it is not an extra benefit because everyone has access, it is a reminder that the quality costs.

    Athletes dining is big business, especially in the world of football where improvements to players, means improvements on the field which translates to big bucks for the school. Whether your school does all athletes together, or specialized football cafe, the point is to make sure you are at the top of your game.

    The days of football players going through the normal student line, grabbing what they can and getting it down have passed. Football, and the futures of the players, has become too important to leave the responsibility of proper nutrition up to 17-to-23-year-olds.”
    Cowboys credit their training table as well as their Orange Pride to their success!


  6. Mudcat's Impala...

    Check out some of the action images of him during his time in knoxvegas…Kids got $5,000 in tats sleeved on his arms… SMH


  7. Sounds like Foster could have used a class or two in personal finance. Maybe that wasn’t as important as personal hygiene up in Knoxvegas.


  8. I am not an athlete but was rather a regular college student in the 70’s. We do not even have refrigerator in the rooms or hallways. If you are thirsty you go out to the hallway and drink from the communal water fountain that was not even refrigerated. If you get hungry at night you just have to swallow your saliva and wait for the cafeteria to open for breakfast in the morning. Looks like a lot of folks lately are expecting too much entitlements and can’t anymore wait for later rewards if they do their share of hard work.


  9. Normaltown Mike

    I find the story a tad bit ridiculous. I had a roommate my freshman year that couldn’t afford the meal plan and couldn’t manage what little money his parents gave him (he was a drama major, go figure). At Bolton or Snelling I discreetly stashed pizza, apples, hamburgers etc. into a tupperware container and stowed it in my backpack. The kid ate and I’m glad I helped.

    Am I to believe no player with food galore from the training table hasn’t figured out this gem of strategy?

    I also have a friend that was a backup on the football team in the 90’s. He said that after games as the players walked back to Butts-Mehre, he received numerous “$100 handshakes”, beer and food in the RV lot next to McWhorter.

    With inflation and the rabidness of UT fans, I can’t imagine Arian couldn’t pick up some “folding money” for his troubles without annoying his coach and jeopardizing the program.


  10. Go Dawgs!

    Rent? If you can’t afford rent, then live in the free dorm the University of Tennessee offers its athletes. Food? There is free food available in the athletic dining halls, and if UT doesn’t feed its players 7 days a week like Georgia does then they should fire every single member of the athletic department because they’re fools.

    Do athletes deserve more than a full ride scholarship? I think they do. Do they all know the way it works going in, though? Do they agree to play by the rules? Yes. I’d sympathize with Arian Foster’s plight if I thought it was genuine. Instead, I think he was trying to live large without an income. I lived in a dorm and ate at dining halls all four years at Georgia. Neither of which was afforded to me for free by the University. Living large? No. But I got my degree and I got out of there.