The Sporting News has quotes from Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops on the subject of whether college football players should be paid. They are what most would call tone-deaf.
"I tell my guys all the time," Stoops says, "you're not the first one to spend a hungry Sunday without any money."
Oklahoma's annual football profits are in the $35 million-to-$40 million range. Stoops made $4.55 million last year, and if his team had reached certain achievements, he would've made $5.4 million. Oklahoma's revenue, like Stoops', is only set to increase over time.
And "hungry Sunday" isn't an overstatement. Without time for NCAA-approved jobs and with financial support that ranks behind that provided to certain other scholarship students, players at many programs very often lack money for the basics.
There's much more from Stoops:
"You know what school would cost here for non-state guy? Over $200,000 for room, board and everything else," Stoops said. "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?"
What about the players who don't want to go to college, but have no other option due to there being no serious pro football developmental league? Or those who would've paid for a cheaper college if that budget was theirs to work with?
That's the thing I always wonder. American colleges are overpriced almost across the board, so what about the value-conscious education shoppers among college football players? What if we whittled that number down to the actual costs of providing education, not the number the University of Oklahoma gets to charge? Are cheaper schools closer to doing players wrong because their intangible numbers are closer to zero?
What about the costs of developing football players, those coaches and trainers and nutritionists? Oklahoma isn't providing those as a charity. That's roster development, which is a boost for players, but it helps bring in all those millions of dollars.
Don't act like every Sooner is a quarter-millionaire just because college costs are farcically bloated. You can't eat a degree. You can't trade one for something to eat, either. You can't use college credits as loan collateral while your impoverished family, if you've got one of those, waits three or more years for your first NFL contract. Education is wonderful, but it has never paid a bill.