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.