Two Stanford football captains sat out a week of summer workouts and meetings last year in protest over the university’s delay in providing players scholarship money, according to a recent Stanford player.
Rollins Stallworth, a Stanford wide receiver whose eligibility expired after last season, revealed the protest Tuesday while serving as a panelist at a forum by the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics. Stallworth said the decision by the captains, whom he declined to name, happened after Stanford was late in providing players with stipends for the third straight summer.
“So we were expected to be at meetings at 7 in the morning, go to practice for three hours, go to classes for another three hours and have nighttime meetings without having our stipend or our money — with literally no compensation,” Stallworth said. “At that point, two of our team captains stopped coming to practice, stopped coming into meetings for almost a week or a week-and-a-half as protest.”
Hey, I thought those were voluntary! (The meetings and practice, not the stipend, that is.)
By the way, you can probably guess the punchline. The sit out got results.
In an interview after his public remarks, Stallworth said the stipends arrived about a week after summer workouts started. In the past, he said, the stipends took a couple weeks to reach players.
Stallworth, who is chair of the Pac-12 Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, said the protest might have sped up the delivery. Stanford officials were concerned about the protest and only the two captains participated, he said.
“It was a mistake, a human error on the filing of our stipends that occurred,” Stallworth said. “But the thought process was, if we’re not being compensated on our end (and) you’re not holding up your end, we shouldn’t hold up our end as well.”
Stanford athletic department communications director Alan George said via email, “The delay in providing summer school financial aid was due to problems with administrative procedures that were impacted by financial aid office processing activities and the timing of when students enrolled in courses. The matter was addressed when it occurred and procedures for providing summer financial aid have since been changed.”
Which is why you’ll see more of this down the road. The hard part isn’t using your leverage. It’s realizing you have leverage in the first place.