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Arian Foster, the introspective and outspoken running back of the Houston Texans, said in a documentary that he took money as a senior at Tennessee.
The comments were made in a new documentary, “Schooled: The Price of College Sports.”
“I don’t know if this will throw us into an NCAA investigation — my senior year, I was getting money on the side,” Foster said in the video. “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.”
Tennessee said it could not comment specifically on the case of Foster.
“We can’t speak to something that allegedly happened a long time ago,” Dave Hart, Tennessee athletic director, said in a statement. “What we can say is that the values and priorities of our athletics department and football program are aligned, and the constant education of our student-athletes regarding the rules and the consequences of their choices is of the highest priority.”
Foster suggested that the impact of speaking out about the issue outweighed the effect it could have on Tennessee and the NCAA.
“Look at the attention it’s getting,” Foster said. “They really have us hoodwinked into thinking taking money is wrong as a college athlete. It’s wrong for us, but it’s not wrong for them. I guarantee every NCAA official has a (BMW) or Benz or something. That’s not wrong, but it’s wrong for me to get $20 to get something to eat? Dez Bryant couldn’t get taken out to dinner by Deion Sanders, his mentor, he sat out a whole season because of that? That’s not wrong? But if you can drive around in a Benz, that’s OK? It’s not right.”