When Texans running back Arian Foster admitted he was getting money on the side during his college football career, some people who follow college sports thought it was a refreshingly candid admission of something that’s widespread in the NCAA.
Dick Vitale is not one of those people.
Instead, Vitale, the ESPN college basketball announcer, took to Twitter and said that Foster should have been honest about taking money at the time, rather than talking about it now. And Vitale used the word “prostitute” in describing how he views Foster taking money while he was an “amateur” athlete.
“When they put their hand out like a prostitute & take it they don’t say a word – moaning yrs later = SAD!” Vitale wrote on Friday.
On Saturday, Vitale thought better of that choice of words.
“I apologize if it offended u that I used prostitute 4 athletes taking cash,” Vitale wrote. “My wife agrees with u that prostitute was a bad term to use.”
While his choice of words may have been unwise, Vitale’s initial reaction was an interesting look at the way so many people within the college sports establishment view players making money. Vitale himself has become a multimillionaire thanks to college athletics, but it angers him when he hears about a player taking a little money. And that’s common: Many of the people who have made the most money off college sports — coaches, broadcasters, administrators — are the people who are most outspoken against athletes taking some money for themselves. And when a player like Foster pulls back the curtain and reveals that “amateur” athletics aren’t really about amateurism, sometimes those multimillionaires fear that their golden goose is being threatened.