By Anthony Slater – Aslater@opubco.com - @anthonyVslater
Pay for play.
It’s one of the hottest topics in collegiate athletics these days. Should athletes, especially those who bring financial gain to the institution they represent, receive a stipend for their services?
There seems to be a growing number of people backing the athlete in this argument. But don’t count Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops among them.
In this interesting article from Sporting News’ Matt Hayes, Stoops has a strong stance in the opposite direction, pointing out what his (and other) student-athletes already get, rather than what they could be receiving.
“You know what school would cost here for non-state guy? Over $200,000 for room, board and everything else,” Stoops told Hayes. “That’s a lot of money. Ask the kids who have to pay it back over 10-15 years with student loans. You get room and board, and we’ll give you the best nutritionist, the best strength coach to develop you, the best tutors to help you academically, and coaches to teach you and help you develop. How much do you think it would cost to hire a personal trainer and tutor for 4-5 years? I don’t get why people say these guys don’t get paid. It’s simple, they are paid quite often, quite a bit and quite handsomely.”
Stoops goes on to say more about the subject. And it’s all pretty interesting. You should read the whole thing here.
But here are a couple of other main points from the article that I found particularly intriguing:
-Offensive coordinator Josh Heupel disagrees with Stoops on the subject: “I think there should be some stipend.”
-Stoops is blunt and brutally honest in almost every aspect. How about this pair of quotes:
“A lot of our guys wouldn’t be here if they were like every other student. I hear what they’re being fed on the outside. Sometimes we have to feed them some perspective.”
“I tell my guys all the time, you’re not the first one to spend a hungry Sunday without any money.”