Former Oklahoma superstar and current Minnesota Vikings tailback Adrian Peterson did a media conference call Wednesday afternoon to promote a medical recovery device called Hyperice, but the half hour-plus touched on lots of subjects. One of them was the debate raging over whether college football players should be paid.
Should they be paid?
“I feel like they deserve to. I’ve been asked this question before, and it was like, ‘Well, what do you think about full scholarships? Guys get full scholarships. You don’t think that’s good enough?’ Well, no. No.
“You work for those full scholarships. You qualify academically. And if you don’t ... the best athletes go to junior colleges because academically they weren’t able to qualify. So, guys work extremely hard to get to college, to be able to get that full scholarship at a university.
“And then ... you see guys, for example, Johnny Manziel. I could use myself, too. When I was in college, I know personally as far as jersey sales and ticket sales, I helped make that university a lot of money. Johnny Manziel helped make Texas A&M so much money. You’re talking about championship games. You’re talking about jersey sales that you don’t see a dime of.
“In the meantime, you’ve got a guy who could possibly be struggling to live outside of college. No one wants to live in a dorm for four years. Guys who are getting older, they have responsibilities. I came in at a time my first daughter was being born, so there was different responsibilities that I had outside of playing football and going to class. I feel like as much money as universities make, I feel like some of that money should be given down to the players as well. Hey, we are the ones making this university money.
“These bowl games? Without the players, how much money do they make? None. You know, without the players, how much money do they make? They make no money without the players.
“You make the transition over to basketball, I hear they’re trying to make basketball players go two years to college. Wow. I wonder why. You think about it, just imagine if LeBron James would’ve had to go to college for two years. How much money would that college have made off LeBron James? They would’ve made so much money off of LeBron James. So I feel like that’s the reason they’re doing it.
“I really feel like athletes should get paid as well. The university is definitely getting paid.”