At SEC Media Days on Tuesday in Birmingham, Alabama, South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier said the league’s football and basketball coaches unanimously voted to award players stipends amounting to less than $4,000 a year per player if the NCAA would allow it. He said the coaches would pay the stipends out of their pockets if the cost became a burden to the schools.
He said “our college football and basketball players that bring in an enormous amount of money–a billion dollars [in] March Madness and football.” Spurrier said the coaches believed athletes in “those two sports, the income-producers, most of them come from lower-income families,” and “we should provide some expense money so their parents can go to the games, lodging travel, meals.”
“We’re only talking about $300 a game in football,” he said, noting that it would be a little less in basketball after it was pro-rated. “The players would have $3,600 or $3,900 just to have a little bit of pocket money and their parents have money to come to the games.”
He said since it would come out to about “$270,000-$280,000” a year, “our coaches all offered to pay it” if it would burden universities.
“We’d pay it all. We want our players to have a little but more than they get,” he said, noting that because of the “enormous amount” of revenue college athletes bring in, they should just get “a little bit to help with their parents watching games and so forth.”
He said this is not “pay-for-play,” emphasizing that minimum salaries in the NFL were “pay-for-play.” He said the only way he is going to shut up about the issue is if President Barack Obama called him and told him to quit taking about awarding football players who bring in millions of dollars in revenue small stipends.
“This is tiny compared to the money that’s coming in now,” Spurrier said. “I think we all know that. I’m going to keep fighting for our guys. I don’t know what will come.”