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Former Tennessee Running Back Arian Foster: “My Senior Year, I Was Getting Money On The Side”

Arian Foster TennesseeFormer Tennessee running back Arian Foster admits he took money his senior year in college.  In an interview for an upcoming documentary, he’s unapologetic about it, saying  ”you’re not going to convince me that there is something wrong with it,” and calls student-athletes “employees.”

According to Sports Illustrated, here’s a portion of what Foster said in the course of a four-hour interview.  

 

I don’t know if this will throw us into an NCAA investigation — my senior year, I was getting money on the side. I really didn’t have any money. I had to either pay the rent or buy some food. I remember the feeling of like, ‘Man, be careful.’ But there’s nothing wrong with it. And you’re not going to convince me that there is something wrong with it.

“There were plenty of times where throughout the month I didn’t have enough for food. Our stadium had like 107,000 seats; 107,000 people buying a ticket to come watch us play. It’s tough just like knowing that, being aware of that. We had just won and I had a good game, 100 yards or whatever You go outside and there’s hundreds of kids waiting for you. You’re signing autographs, taking pictures, whatever.

“Then I walk back, and reality sets in. I go to my dorm room, open my fridge, and there’s nothing in my fridge. Hold up, man. What just happened? Why don’t I have anything to show for what I just did? There was a point where we had no food, no money, so I called my coach and I said, ‘Coach, we don’t have no food. We don’t have no money. We’re hungry. Either you give us some food, or I’m gonna go do something stupid.’ He came down and he brought like 50 tacos for like four or five of us. Which is an NCAA violation. [laughs] But then, the next day I walk up to the facility and I see my coach pull up in a brand new Lexus. Beautiful.”

“I’m a firm believer that an employee should get paid for his work. And, 100 percent, I see student athletes as employees. Hiding from it is just cowardly.”

 

Foster’s comments come as part of the documentary called Schooled: The Price Of College Sports. It will premiere October 16 on Epix.

Foster’s senior year was 2008 – coach Phillip Fulmer’s last season in Knoxville.  Foster went undrafted in the 2009 NFL draft and signed as a free agent with the Houston Texans.

 


9 comments
BillRauhuff
BillRauhuff

They should have bought him some super glue because in his whole career at Tennessee he constantly fumbled at the worst possible times costing Tennessee a few games . I know my beloved Volunteers have certainly made mistakes with the NCAA as a lot of schools have, but the wierd thing is it has not helped in win loss column. You think as violation as a way to gain which Tennessee has not had any breaks in 5-6 years. I believe we are very close to 60-70 schools leaving the NCAA and started their own way  to enforce rules which mainly means no rules at all which is probably the right thing to do because the big programs have not been about getting a education in 40 years. All and I mean all the big programs are just stepping stones to the NFLand we all know that. I do not know how the 5 million dollar a year coaches, athletic directors, chancellors, ect can say otherwise with a straight face.

UtahReb
UtahReb

"But then, the next day I walk up to the facility and I see my coach pull up in a brand new Lexus. Beautiful.”

Does he have the same attitude when he is driving into the Reliant Stadium parking lot in his nice car while the concession workers and field crew are walking to the stadium from the metro station? Probably not.

He got paid with a scholarship to get an education. I may be wrong on this, but getting an education was likely the last thing on his mind.

As long as universities continue to recruit players who have no desire to get an education, they will have to deal with rule breakers, malcontents and future/past felons. Don't get me wrong, I love athletics and I think they are an important part of the college system, but at some point, the institutions of higher education need to focus on bringing in true student athletes instead of just athletes. Until then, schools like Tennessee will continue to become nothing more than farm clubs of professional sports.

BAMANOLE26
BAMANOLE26

I'm going to go ahead and sound the skepticism alarm on this one. Firstly, he talks about "paying rent" and then says he "got back to the dorm"-as a student athlete you don't pay rent if you live in a dorm, it's included with the scholarship. Secondly, he talks about not having food. Now I'm not a genius but I haven't seen a single big time college team that didn't have it's own private dining hall that looked immaculate and had every type of food imaginable, so that makes me think that UT would have one as well, but that's just a guess. I also seem to recall that those dining halls are free to the players, and that most scholarship students get a meal card as part of the scholarship (at least that's how it was where I went). So when I put these things together it makes me wonder, why would he need money for food and rent if he didn't pay rent and had access to all the food he wanted?

HoustonVol
HoustonVol

This is part of the issue - There is no issue with Coach K showing up and buying $100's of dollars of pizza for the students waiting in line to get tickets for a game. However if he buys one taco for one of his players - NCAA Violation.  If there were non-athletic students in the room, is it still a violation? The coach provided a benefit (Tacos) for athletes and regular students just the same. This is what will bring down the system. It is trying to catch to much and stop everything. Which is impossible. There is just to much money to be made to keep the system amateur. I personally favor a sponsership style system that is run through the athletic department rather than paying the players. Allow them to make money off of their likeness. Will it be fair that the star QB gets 100's of thousands of dollars while the lineman get basically nothing, nope. But the NFL is the same, that is business. There is nothing stopping the QB from buying dinner for the O-line.

HogFanTN
HogFanTN

Just imagine what he would have been paid if he was actually good in college instead of afraid of getting hurt. He was so soft his senior year.

UT98BCSChamps
UT98BCSChamps

"inwardly groaning"  WTF, when is this going to end?  Matt Hayes had a funny tweet though.  Pass the bourbon please.

gregpomeroy1
gregpomeroy1

Ever since Phil Fulmer was a secret witness against Alabama back in the day, Tennessee has struggled.  I'm sure they're not related, but I have no sympathy for Tennessee whatsoever.

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