Each day at Big 12 Media Days we'll ask players for their opinions on some hot topics in and around college football.
Today's question: What do you think about your likeness being used on a video game? In light of the O'Bannon vs. NCAA — a court case focusing on the issue of whether college players should be paid for their likeness being used — do you think you should receive some sort of compensation for this?
* Shaun Lewis, Oklahoma State linebacker: “If somebody used your likeness to make some money off you, would you want to be compensated for that? But it's out of my control. If they give us money, they do. If they don't, they don't. Somebody said it perfectly the other day. He said that coaches get these million dollar contracts and players get a $300 stipend for the month and you expect them to live comfortably with that. Don't get me wrong, the coaches deserve every penny of their contracts, but the players have to live. They're human beings. They're growing human beings. You ask them to live on $300 a month and eat four times a day. I don't know many people that can do that.”
* Josh Stewart, Oklahoma State wide receiver: “My opinion about the whole thing is, that would be cool to have (a payout) be legal. But at the same time, I just feel like college football needs to stay college football and let the NFL be the level to where you get those amounts of pay. Just because you're on the game, it doesn't show your name, things like that. They don't create our face to how it really looks. I just feel like how it is right now is perfect. I'm getting enough. I believe that it takes away from college football if you let athletes get paid. That's just my opinion. And I'm not a wealthy guy. I'm not wealthy at all. I'm good enough to get by. I want to feel like I earned that. I want to feel like I worked to get to that level. I don't feel like I've made it.”
* Sam Carter, TCU safety: “I'm just excited that I'm on the game. Playing high school ball, you dream of playing at the next level. We're excited that we're on the game. I don't really care about (getting compensation). It's no big deal to me.”
* Eric Ward, Texas Tech wide receiver: “I know what your question is. Let me answer that. I think we should get compensated for it. Why not? As college players, it's already hard living. They give you a stipend check, but stipend checks only go so far. The cost of living goes up every year. Especially with me, I have a son and he stays with me. I have dependents. As the cost of living goes up, I think the stipend should go up.”
* Ben Heeney, Kansas linebacker: “This is the first year that I've actually been put on the game, so when I saw it, I was kind of in awe. It's something growing up, our generation, we've played video games since we could walk, so just to see myself on a video game is just really cool. (But) they're using us. And we don't get to see any of (the revenue). I would definitely advocate some pay. We basically have a full-time job, being a student-athlete. We are 40-plus hours a week of conditioning, lifting, working out, film, everything, so we don't really have the luxury of other students as far as getting a job. Really, if you think about it, this is the prime of what we're doing. You're getting paid to do this; this is the prime of your career. Why can't I get paid while I'm in the prime of mine?”
* Calvin Barnett, Oklahoma State defensive tackle: “It would be nice (to be compensated). It's like schools making certain jerseys of players. But that's the world we live in. I haven't got it yet. I'll be alright without it.”
* Kenny Williams, Texas Tech running back: “It's kind of surreal. It's pretty cool getting to see myself, play myself on a video game. (Getting compensation) would definitely be nice. I feel like they're using our names, our numbers. I feel like we should get some sort of compensation for it. That'd be a huge benefit.”
* James Sims, Kansas running back: “It's crazy to know that you're on a video game, but it's also fun at the same time. You can always keep those games as memories no matter what. You can be like, ‘Hey, I was on this video game.' I feel like we should get paid, but I know it won't happen. If they're using you, I feel like you should at least get some type of cut. Even if it's just a little bit.”