Remember a time when college athletes were looked down upon if they took money for services? We used to turn our collective noses up at them, as if they committed some heinous crime. Now, it has flipped. If a guy turns down money, he’s perceived as foolish. Because of the power of Johnny Manziel, student-athletes will be allowed to earn moneywithin the next decade I believe. But I digress.
Houston Texans running back Arian Foster opened up to Sports Illustrated recently about accepting money while playing ball at the University of Tennessee.
“There were plenty of times where throughout the month I didn’t have enough for food,” Foster said in the 90-minute documentary. “Our stadium had like 107,000 seats; 107,000 people buying a ticket to come watch us play. It’s tough just like knowing that, being aware of that. We had just won and I had a good game, 100 yards or whatever. You go outside and there’s hundreds of kids waiting for you. You’re signing autographs, taking pictures, whatever.
“Then I walk back, and reality sets in. I go to my dorm room, open my fridge, and there’s nothing in my fridge. Hold up, man. What just happened? Why don’t I have anything to show for what I just did? 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.”
These unprompted revelations are more frequent these days which is bad press for the NCAA.