Video: Arian Foster admits to accepting money while at Tennessee

Photo: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Photo: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Arian Foster, now the superstar running back for the Houston Texans, is set financially for the rest of his life (if he plays his cards right). His NFL contract will also keep his children happy and even his children’s children.

However, life was not nearly so plush for Foster during his years in college at Tennessee. Between 2005 and 2008, Foster was running in front of more than 100,000 fans in Knoxville, but when he would go home to his dorm or apartment, his fridge would be empty.

[Taco Twitter Takes: Arian Foster, money, and a run for the border]

He admits, in a new EPIX documentary titled “Schooled: The Price of College Sports,” that he did take money on the side during his senior season. Here is the transcription of all of his quotes, courtesy of Sports Illustrated, with a video preview of the documentary below.

“I don’t know if this will throw us into an NCAA investigation — my senior year, I was getting money on the side,” said Foster. “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,” Foster said in the 90-minute documentary. “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,” Foster added. “And, 100 percent, I see student athletes as employees. Hiding from it is just cowardly.”

Taco Twitter Takes: Arian Foster, money, and a run for the border

  • Voodoofoxx

    I believe that the free education is worth something. There are also many kids who are paying their own way and living off ramen noodles. I agree with a stipend or something and a chow hall for these kids to eat in every day, but I don’t agree with pay for play. Don’t they also have free room and board?

    • Brandon

      When you are playing Football at a big university, you practice every day after class. When you aren’t practicing, you are at mandatory team meetings, functions. When you’re not doing those, you should be studying. Most student athletes do not have time for a job. College sports is a MULTI BILLION DOLLAR business. There is no reason why they shouldn’t compensate their athletes. Even if its like a monthly allowance of some sort. Would definitely help keep the drug and crime down among the college athletics demographic.

    • Scott

      They do not have free room and board. That’s the problem. Brandon is right, these kids are full up with sports and studying, no time for a job. I am not sure exactly what the rule is but it’s not a free ride. If my kid gets a free ride to Ohio State, we’re good to, I can easily cover the $8-10K for room, board, and some spending money. If Bobby from Louisiana gets that same scholarship he’s in trouble. See, Bobby’s parents only make $40K combined income a year and he’s got 6 brothers and sisters. What the heck is Bobby supposed to do? I can tell you one thing, Bobby will not starve, so something will give for sure.

  • Steve

    They give you money if not living in the dorms for room and board and I was getting 175.00 for both no way could I have made it without help. Lucky my Father was able to help me.

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