Houston Texans running back Arian Foster has admitted to accepting money while playing football for the Tennessee Volunteers in an interview from the upcoming EPIX documentary “Schooled: The Price of College Sports.” This comes on the heels of Sports Illustrated’s controversial report about the Oklahoma State athletics program and numerous violations, including players receiving money.
From Sports Illustrated:
“I don’t know if this will throw us into an NCAA investigation — my senior year, I was getting money on the side,” said Foster. “I really didn’t have any money. I had to either pay the rent or buy some food. I remember the feeling of like, ‘Man, be careful.’ But there’s nothing wrong with it. And you’re not going to convince me that there is something wrong with it.
“I’m a firm believer that an employee should get paid for his work,” Foster added. “And, 100 percent, I see student athletes as employees. Hiding from it is just cowardly.”
He also tells a story about being hungry and having no food to eat, coming from a stadium filled with 107,000 people who paid to see him play football and finding an empty fridge. In an act of desperation he calls his head coach and asks for him to help before he does something stupid. The coach risked violations to help out and get the players food, trying to do the right thing.
“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.”
He also talks about teammates selling drugs to get by and why you hear about players selling their rings.
I have to say the trade off of education for play isn’t enough. That might work in high school, but in college players are away from home and struggle to come up with the basic necessities of life like rent and food and Foster makes some interesting points and comments. While I believe most of the players are really just looking for help to get by and survive on there own, there are always the idiots who discredit the actual needs of some athletes by going out and buying jewelry or other things that aren’t exactly necessities. Those guys ruin it for the ones who actually need help.
The clip comes from the upcoming EPIX documentary “Schooled: The Price of College Sports.”