Texans running back Arian Foster pulled back the curtain on what many people think has been happening in college football since college football was invented, admitting he took money while at the University of Tennessee.
Sports Illustrated obtained a clip from a new documentary called “Schooled: The Price of College Sports,” which included Foster making it clear he did something outside the lines of the NCAA’s rules.
“I don’t know if this will throw us into an NCAA investigation — my senior year, I was getting money on the side,” Foster said. “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.
“There were plenty of times where throughout the month I didn’t have enough for food. 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.”
Foster recalled calling a coach and telling him he didn’t have money for food, only for the coach to deliver tacos.
“But then, the next day I walk up to the facility and I see my coach pull up in a brand new Lexus. Beautiful,” Foster said. “I’m a firm believer that an employee should get paid for his work. And, 100 percent, I see student athletes as employees. Hiding from it is just cowardly.”
As it pertains to his NFL employment, the words don’t matter. He’s a pro now, with the money in exchange for his services passing above the table.
The patrons of the league’s free farm system might mind, but Foster’s willingness to expose a commonly held belief (at least among us cynics) might help kill some of the hypocrisy the NCAA has created.