"I just feel strong about the injustice that the NCAA has been doing for years. That's why I said what I said. I'm not trying to throw anybody under the bus. I feel like I shouldn't have to run from the NCAA anymore. They're like bullies. I'm not scared of them."
Houston Texans running back Arian Foster
On Friday Sports Illustrated posted an excerpt from an upcoming documentary where Arian Foster admits to receiving improper benefits while attending the University of Tennessee. Instead of acting apologetic and remorseful Foster defended his actions and criticized the NCAA for their hypocrisy and exploitation of college athletes. He then went on to say athletes should get paid otherwise the corruption will continue. Does Arian have a legitimate point?
Yes and no. Without question the universities make obscene amounts of money and their cut is guaranteed. Massive TV contracts are in place, games are sold out years in advance, and alumni members flood the programs with free flowing cash. Players on the other hand get no permissible benefits other than meals and education.
The problem is you can't pay student athletes based on the income they generate for the schools. Should Johnny Football get the same amount of money as an alternate on the fencing team? Can we really trust accountants not to add an extra zero or two for players that have big games or sell more memorabilia? Would giving athletes cash deter the boosters and agents from engaging in illegal activity?
I understand what Arian Foster is trying to say. It shouldn't be against the rules for student athletes to benefit from their participation in sports and the money generated should be allocated differently. I don't think the players should be paid directly either. That system would open an even bigger can of worms. Who would oversee such a program and what would stop them from becoming completely corrupt? If you ask me they should continue to provide players with "special" envelopes, but the administrations should pay less attention to those infractions. Your thoughts?