Spurrier agrees with report on player values

South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier agreed with an advocacy

group’s report that college football and basketball players don’t

get what they’re worth from their schools.

Spurrier was asked his opinion Tuesday on the study from a

national college athletes’ advocacy group and a sports management

professor.

The study calculated that if college sports shared their

revenues the way pro sports do, the average Football Bowl

Subdivision player would be worth $121,000 per year, while the

average basketball player at that level would be worth

$265,000.

Those values aren’t a surprise to Spurrier, who’s watched media

revenues skyrocket in college sports yet scholarships remain fairly

stagnant, often not covering the full costs of college.

”Of course, I think it’s true,” he said. ”I mean, 20 years

ago, 50 years ago, athletes got full scholarships. Television

income was what, maybe $50,000? And now everybody’s getting 14, 15

million bucks and they’re still getting a scholarship.”

Spurrier said at last spring’s Southeastern Conference meetings

that 70 football players should be paid $300 a game with the money

coming out of the coach’s pocket. The proposal was backed by

several of his SEC football coaching colleagues, including Nick

Saban of Alabama and Les Miles of LSU.

The report, ”The Price of Poverty in Big Time College Sport,”

said the demands of their sports and limited opportunity to make

money outside of school leave some athletes living below the

poverty line.

Ramogi Huma, a former UCLA linebacker who heads the National

College Players Association, wrote the report with Drexel

University professor Ellen J. Staurowsky.

Spurrier said those in charge of college sports have discussed

the issues. ”But they’re not going to do anything until maybe they

have to do something,” he said.

NCAA president Mark Emmert and college presidents advocated

increasing grants-in-aid to cover the full cost of college. The

NCAA said Emmert has made it clear that paying athletes a salary is

not on the horizon.

Spurrier, a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback at Florida in

1966, understands how much more time athletes must train, work and

study to keep programs winning than in his time 45 years ago.

Football and basketball players bring in enormous amounts of

money and an extra $3,000 to $4,000 would be equitable, Spurrier

said.

South Carolina tailback Marcus Lattimore says he and teammates

talk all the time about how nice it would be if they received more

money for everyday living and even extras like dinners and

clothes.

”But there are rules,” he said with a smile.

If college coffers weren’t filling with money, Spurrier would be

fine with a simple scholarship. But if coaches and athletic

departments benefit, the coach wonders why those who fill the

stadiums and arenas with their play.

”That’s just my opinion,” Spurrier said.