Foster: "You'd take money too'
Arian Foster revealed in a recent documentary he received money on the side while playing football at the University of Tennessee.
The Texans' star running back was approached last February to be in a documentary called "Schooled: The Price of College Sports."
“They really have us hoodwinked into thinking taking money is wrong as a college athlete,” Foster said Friday afternoon at Reliant Stadium. “It’s wrong for us, but it’s not wrong for them. I guarantee you that every single NCAA official has a Beamer or a Benz or something like that. That’s not wrong, but it’s wrong for me to go get 20 dollars to go get something to eat?”
IMDB (internet movie database) shows the documentary is narrated by actor Sam Rockwell and includes Bob Costas, Jay Bilas and Ed O’Bannon to name a few.
In the documentary, Foster said, "I don't know if this will throw us into an NCAA investigation -- my senior year, I was getting money on the side. 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 go to work every single day as professional athlete,” Foster said Friday. “I lift weights and do all of these things and that’s my job. Those athletes at that level are doing the exact same things. Except I can go make money off my name, I can go get a side job if a really wanted to.
“The NCAA takes away your constitutional rights. Not being able to go get a job. They can make all the money they want to off of the names of these players, but the players can’t make names off themselves?”
In the documentary Foster went on to mention situations where the athletes didn't have any money for food. In some of these circumstances, Foster said his coach helped take care of the players with some food, which also violates NCAA rules. Friday Foster clarified that he never received money from a coach while at Tennessee, but also made it very clear how he felt about the current situation college sports is in.
“I feel very strong about the injustice the NCAA has been doing for years,” Foster said in the Texans media work room. “I feel like I shouldn’t have to run from the NCAA anymore. They’re like these big bullies and I’m not scared of them.”
Foster originally declined to comment about the documentary after practice, but decided to address the media roughly an hour later. During that time Foster was asked if he could take a guess at a percentage of college football players receiving money.
“I couldn’t put a number on it,” Foster said. “If you were a star athlete and didn’t have any money for food, you’d take money too.”
"I'm a firm believer that an employee should get paid for his work," Foster said in the documentary. "And, 100 percent, I see student-athletes as employees. Hiding from it is just cowardly."