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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.

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