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Ex-Gamecock Clowney: “I Would Have Probably Stayed In College” If I’d Been Paid

gfx - they said itEx-South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney has elected to turn pro after his junior season with the Gamecocks.  No one was surprised by his decision.  Just as no one should be surprised that he told “Jim Rome on Showtime” that he would have stayed in school if he had been paid:

 

“Yes.  Having to take care of my family, it would have made a difference if I’d have gotten paid.  If I would have had the chance to take care of my family through college I would have probably stayed in college…

I think (players should be paid).  They are selling our jerseys with our numbers and making money off of ticket sales so I think college athletes should get paid.”

 

No one drafted Clowney or any other college football players.  Those athletes didn’t have to play college ball.  They chose to play college ball.  And if they didn’t see enough value in getting a free college education — when millions of Americans find themselves buried in student loans for half their lives — then they should have done something else with their time.

It’s the NFL that has an age limit.  Players should blame Roger Goodell and company if they want to bark about a lack of wages.

That or athletes should focus on baseball, a sport that allows them to become professionals right out of high school.

But the idea of playing players enough money to “take care” of their families is a non-starter.  The biggest schools in the five biggest conferences are fighting like hell for the right to give players an extra two grand or so per semester as part of a full-cost-of-tuition scholarship.  That’s as good as it’s gonna get for a while.  You think Clowney would view an extra two thousand per semester as enough cash to “take care of his family?”

Here’s guessing that answer is big ol’ no.

And since players aren’t going to be receiving salaries anytime soon, Clowney’s comments to Rome are meaningless.  He might as well have said, “I’d have stayed in college if I had wings.”

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Louisville’s Strong To Arkansas? Not According To Him

The first rule of “I’m looking for another job club” is “Don’t talk about ‘I’m looking for another job’ club.”  Coaches lie and bend the truth when it comes to who they’re talking to and what jobs they might consider taking.  Athletic directors fib about who they’re speaking with as well.  They all have go-betweens and head-hunters and agents to provide them with plausible deniability.

So when you hear of a coach who says he’s happy where he is, well, you know what to do — ignore it.

That said, Louisville head coach (and native of the Natural State) Charlie Strong was asked by Jim Rome this afternoon, “If Arkansas calls, do you take that call?”  Strong’s response:

 

“These folks gave me an opportunity.  I tell these kids to be here, and then I leave?  I am not cut like that.  I am happy where I am.”

 

Strong is also in the middle of a football season and he’s busy on the recruiting trail.  There’s no better way to hurt a team or kill recruiting than by saying, “Sure, I’d talk to School X if they called me.”

Still the above comment is a pretty strong statement — no pun intended — for a coach to make.  Like Nick Saban’s famed remark — “I’m not going to be the Alabama coach” — this one will will be brought up again and again should Strong depart Louisville for Arkansas or anywhere else.

But here’s guessing Strong knows as well as most other coaches that Saban’s “lie” didn’t really hurt him too much in the long run.  Better to deny and deflect than to destroy your current job before you have to.

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