NORMAN — Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops created a stir with comments he made to Sporting News on whether players should receive a stipend.
“I tell my guys all the time, you’re not the first one to spend a hungry Sunday without any money,” Stoops said.
It was far from the first time the Sooner coach has publicly said he’s against college players being paid beyond a full scholarship.
The NCAA is currently weighing whether or not to permit funding beyond the cost of a scholarship. The stipend that players and some coaches are arguing for would cover the costs scholarships do not. The current proposal is for an extra $2,000 a year to go to athletic scholarship recipients.
The proposal comes at a time when BCS conferences are signing billion dollar television contracts, coaches have multi-million dollar contracts (Stoops will make nearly $5 million this season) and schools continue to make millions on school apparel.
However, Stoops has said many times in the past and did so again to Sporting News, that a college scholarship is loaded with financial benefits.
According the University of Oklahoma, out-of-state tuition, room and board and books for the 2012-2013 school year was $29,924.50.
“Ask the kids who have to pay it back over 10 to 15 years with student loans,” Stoops said. “You get room and board, and we’ll give you the best nutritionist, the best strength coach to develop you, the best tutors to help you academically, and coaches to teach you and help you develop. How much do you think it would cost to hire a personal trainer and tutor for four to five years?
“I don’t get why people say these guys don’t get paid. It’s simple, they are paid quite often, quite a bit and quite handsomely.”
OU reported to the U.S. Department of Education that it spent an average of $51,733 per football player and $100,935 per basketball player for the 2011-12 school year.
Stoops also said if it weren’t for the athletic scholarships many players would not be in college because they failed to meet minimum requirements for typical students who are paying their own way in school.
Most of those students will be paying off student loans for the next 20 years after graduation. Those on scholarship don’t have to go into debt to go to college.
“I’ve always said college is more about proving you can make it on your own,” Stoops said. “Proving you can go through the process and come out on top and be ready for the world. The typical student here leaves our university and has a boatload of student loans to pay back. Our players leave not owing a dime to anyone.”
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