You can add Gary Pinkel name to the growing list of coaches, administrators, and conference officials who believe it’s time to pay athletes. Some of them anyway.
In a video posted at the coach’s official website, the top Tiger said:
“I’ve kinda changed my view on this over the last few years just because of the amount of money now that is in college football. You know, the billions and billions of dollars that are out there. And I think that men’s football and basketball at most universities — certainly at our level, the BCS level — pay for a good portion of the entire athletic budgets. But our players are getting room, board, books, tuition which is fine. They’re gonna get their education, which is important. But I also think we can give them additional money per semester or per quarter… To pay back all their sacrifices.”
Pinkel also mentioned the SEC’s ongoing attempts to force the NCAA to allow those schools who can afford to provide full-cost-of-tuition scholarships to do so. The SEC isn’t alone on that front. Most of the major conference heads have spoken out just as loudly on this subject as Mike Slive has.
Readers of this site know that we have been writing for two years that a new “super-division” at the top of the NCAA food chain is inevitable. How many leagues and teams become part of this new stratum is anyone’s guess at this point, but the day is coming when the biggest spenders and heaviest hitters will provide extra stipends to some of their athletes.
And just as certain is the fact that some members of those athletic groups not paid — non-revenue players, female players — will immediately file lawsuits saying, “Where’s my cut?”
You can watch the full Pinkel clip here: