For those of you struggling to understand how student-athletes’ talents could ever possibly be valued in an open market setting, let a former Washington football player explain how it’s done in the real world.
Former NBA player Nate Robinson says a University of Washington booster offered him six figures to return to the Huskies football team after he left to focus on basketball.
On the latest episode of their Sports Illustrated podcast, “Holdat,” Robinson and fellow former pro Carlos Boozer discussed the times they were offered impermissible benefits as college players. Robinson said he was offered “$100,000 per year” by a booster to resume his football career after leaving the team after his freshman season.
“When they fired Rick Neuheisel my freshman year that made it easy for me to make my decision to quit and go play basketball, which I wanted to do anyway,” Robinson explained. “For my three years at UW, I had a booster offer me $100,000 per year to come back and play football because they needed Nate Robinson back on the football field because we weren’t winning any games, it wasn’t exciting…
It’s not that hard, folks. Supply and demand.
By the way, the UW is shocked, shocked, something like that might have happened.
In a statement issued to the Seattle Times, the Washington athletic department denied any knowledge of the scenario Robinson described.
“The events described by Nate Robinson had not been reported to our department in any way, and were new information to us this morning,” the school said. “Based on his statements it does not appear that any NCAA violations occurred, but we look forward to following up with Nate and any other relevant parties to learn more about this matter in hopes of continuing to foster a full environment of compliance within all of our athletic programs.”
Yeah, I’m sure they’ll get right on that.