Former four-star quarterback Stephen Garcia took to a Charlotte news station this past week and explained what we already (should) know: players get paid for their autographs all the fucking time. Whether this is right or wrong–and we aren’t here to argue this point–the act happens at an alarming rate. Garcia was candid enough to let us in on the capitalistic reality in the top-tier college athlete world.
From CBS Sports:
“I saw it all day, every day to be honest with you. I wish they came to me, but they thought of me as some rich white kid so I didn’t really get benefits from that. I’m just being honest with you. I saw it firsthand with a lot of players and talking with other guys. You know I’m friends with a lot of players from around the SEC, and talking with them, it makes the Todd Gurley thing seem insignificant by a long shot.”
I had the opportunity to play on a top 25 team for a few years in college. I was never exposed or aware of anyone receiving benefits in this manner, and I probably wouldn’t snitch about it on a website with millions of viewers per day, but it wasn’t uncommon to hear about or see things that may fall in the gray area and beyond.
The misconception most often reverts to the argument that these kids are getting a free education with room, board, and books paid for. For those of us fortunate enough to have our parents as a safety net or ATM for the four or five years of college, a full ride scholarship would leave us swimming in extra cash that would inevitably fund our crippling alcoholism or other addictions. For those who are living solely off of the short ends that the school provides, life’s simple demands become overbearing.
I was once asked by a teary-eyed four-star safety for $20 so he could have enough gas to make it to his next expenses check. Granted, he may have blown his initial check on anything but his daily essentials, but the fact that this 19-year-old couldn’t afford gas after putting more than 60 hours of work in for a billion dollar corporation (because the NCAA and athletic departments that report to the association are part of the corporation) should bring the issue of players being paid for their likeness front and center.
Stephen Garcia obviously sides with the players on this one:
“Absolutely, I don’t see why that’s such a punishable offense,” Garcia said. “I think it’s absolutely ridiculous that these kids can’t profit from their name, their likeness, sign their name on their own jersey. I don’t understand that and I really hope that rule changes. It’s mind-boggling to me, to be honest with you.”
And the most Stephen said he saw for these handshakes and signing for cash?
“$160,000 for one season.”
Holy fuck. According to Indeed.com, the average salary for doctors in the state of South Carolina is $85,000, with pediatric doctors coming in around $162,000 a year..
[via CBS Sports]
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