Tommy Tuberville Speaks Out Against Payment For Student-Athletes

Former Auburn football coach and current U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville isn’t big on the idea of college athletes being paid beyond the usual full tuition.

“Players are already getting paid,” Tuberville told TMZ Sports. “You’ve got to remember that. They’re getting their scholarship.”

Tuberville added that college sports aren’t supposed to serve as minor leagues for pro sports. After all, there are already actual minor leagues for that.

“Plus, most (student-athletes) are getting $600, $700, $800 cash a month for what we call cost of attendance,” Tuberville added. “And, so, nobody’s going hungry as a college athlete. Men and women.”

Mostly, Tuberville implied that athletes who don’t want to be students have options other than college.

“It should always be about education. If we get away from that, we’re going to lose it,” he said. “This is not a minor league farm system. It is education … at the end of the day, it should be about education.”

Tuberville compiled a 159-99 overall record as the head coach at Ole Miss, Auburn, Texas Tech and Cincinnati from 1995-2016.

Written by Sam Amico

Sam Amico spent 15 years covering the NBA for Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports and NBA.com, along with a few other spots, and currently runs his own basketball website on the side, FortyEightMinutes.com.

5 Comments

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  1. Assuming there ever was a time when college FB/ BB athletes at Big Time Sports Schools were receiving a legitimate “usable in real life” education … that time is long passed. The concept of bartering ones’ athletic prowess in exchange for “a for-real college education” was a legitimate exchange.

    When “legitimate college education” deteriorated into otherwise useless “eligibility majors” that exchange was forever skewed. … Any version of NIL will result in highly-ranked recruits showing up with agents asking “what kinda deal are you offering my client” ….. SEC and their maniacal deep-pocketed “boosters” will still prevail.
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  2. “It should always be about education. If we get away from that, we’re going to lose it,” he said. “This is not a minor league farm system. It is education … at the end of the day, it should be about education.”

    Tubberville made 23.1 million from 2006 to 2016. Was it all about education? At the same time these schools routinely shove kids through garbage classes to keep them eligible and then crow about how great a degree is. Spare me. When they turned this into a billion dollar industry where everyone but the players is making money they lost the moral high ground about the real value being an education. If it is then give the players the money and the coaches the degrees.

  3. With the coming expanded playoffs, a player will now play 12 regular season games, a conference championship game, and possibly four playoff games. By my math, that’s 17 games to make millions for the school and everyone involved except the players.

  4. Like many other facts, it’s not popular to point out that the vast majority of athletic departments lose money. Additionally, all but a tiny fraction of college athletes will not be professional athletes, so provided they take advantage of the opportunity, their degree has tremendous value. Yes, head coaches make more money than is reasonable, but otherwise, the money brought in funds scholarships for athletes and facilities on campus. The XFL is returning, and we have whatever the minor league for the NBA is called. Those leagues are pay-for-play, and athletes are free to choose that option. Let those who find the scholarship, and all that comes with being a college athlete to be the great deal that it is, choose that option.

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